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f\ I^omagee of t^e Confederacy. 


THE V. M. I., 







The "Boy Soldiers;" 






4 Dedication. 

We are growing old, and soon the "taps" will be 
sounded for the last of the classes preceding 1861. 'Tis 
only a desire to render our homage unto truth, the great 
Director of Happiness in this world, that we humbly, most 
humbly present this truthful statement to those who may 
perchance find these lines. Names may be changed, but 
behind every line, truth stands ready to prove every as- 
sertion, and prepared to repel every charge of wrong. 

May a just God, remembering the woes of the con- 
quered, and the pride of the oppressor, give us and our 
children a heart to bear our cross, and a memory whereon 
shall be engraved the eloquent language of Doctor Cave — 

" I am not one of those who, clinging; to the old superstition that the 
will of heaven is revealed in the immediate results of trial by combat, fancy- 
ing- that right must always be on the side of might, and speak of Appo- 
mattox as the judgment of God. 

" I do not forget that a Suwaroff triumphed and a Kosciusko fell ; that 
a Nero wielded a scepter of empire and a Paul was beheaded; that a Herod 
was crowned and a Christ crucified; and instead of accepting the defeat of 
the South as a divine verdict against her, I regard it as but another instance 
of ' truth on the scaffold and wrong on the throne.'" 

Little Rock, Arkansas, 1895. 




Reading one day, the " explano-prefatory " of a book 
entitled, "In Vinculis," by A. M. Keiley, a Virginia Con- 
federate, I saw these words: Through books, newspa- 
pers, magazines, military commissions, congressional leg- 
islation, proclamations, reports, "novels," so-called, and 
histories that are far more romantic, the North is not only 
writing the story of the late war, but the character of its 
late enemies. A great deal of this, from proclamation up, 
we know to be false, but the time has not come, nor does 
every one who feels the need, feel the power to do justice. 

Each Southern man though, may, and ought to contrib- 
ute something to our own story of this war, even though 
it be as pure a trifle as this: " The living claim it, and the 
inexpressibly loved and honored dead demand it." 

And I hope to live to see the day, when the infamous 
atrocities of Hunter in the Valley of Virginia will have a 
fitting historian. 

And above all, when the story of that hellish carnival of 
lust, and rapine, and outrage, and arson, and murder and 
nameless villianies which Yankee poets and magazine 
writers euphoniously name, " The great march from the 
mountains to the sea," shall be painted with a broad brush 
and a free hand, that mankind may shudder again to think 
of the crimes committed in the name of " Liberty." 

Actuated by just such feelings and motives, I thrust out 
into the world, this new born "trifle," to bear all the ills 
of a doubting and critical world. 

There is not an event of any magnitude mentioned here- 
in, that is not critically and historically true. It is need- 
less to say that naught is put down here in malice ; the 
days of carnage are long past, and no spirit of retribution 
exists in the breasts of the unsuccessful, but there is a 

6 Preface. 

spirit implanted in the minds of all true and honorable 
men, to know the truth of events, whether detailed in his- 
tory or in romance. In no instance, throughout these 
pages, is an effort made to exaggerate the deeds of our 
enemies, or to insult the dead by false representation; as 
an instance, the deeds of Miss F., absolutely perpetrated 
during and after the war, if left to our judgment alone, 
were far more heinous than those detailed herein. 

Ah! me, the forty years since last we met, 
Seems to me forty folios, bound and set 
By time, the Great Transcriber, on his shelves, 
Wherein are written the histories of ourselves. 
What tragedies, what comedies are there ; 
What joy and grief, what rapture and despair! 
What chronicles of triumph and defeat, 
Of struggle, and temptation, and retreat; 
What records of regrets and doubts and fears! 
What pages blotted, blistered by our tears; 
What lovely landscapes on the margin shine ; 
What sweet angelic faces, what divine, 
And holy images of love and trust, 
Undimmed by age, unsoiled by damp or dust. 

— Longfellow. (Morituri Salutamus). 

From Dost to Ashes. 


A Romance of the Confederacy 

By Geo, P, C. Rumbough, 

Published by the Brown Printing Company. 

Copyrighted by the Author 


[All Rights Reserved.] 


Chaptek I. 

It was the 4th day of July, 185 — , when the Corps 
of Cadets of the Virginia Military Institute at 
Lexington stood for the last time, with the gradu- 
ating class of that date, on the parade ground, 
and, while the last sad, sweet notes of ' ' Auld 
Lang Syne" floated upon the air from the in- 
struments of Volandt's Band, with tears and 
almost a heart-broken voice came the Command- 
ant's order, "Break ranks." Then came from 
a lusty, cheery voice, "Three cheers for 'Little 
Grill ! ' " ( the commandant ) . This was given with 
energy and zest, and for the day discipline was 

To one among those cadets, who wore a cap- 
tain's chevrons, how ominously sounded those 
words, ' ' Break ranks ! ' ' For years the barracks 
of the Institute had been his home; now his 
ranks were broken by command, his home was 
broken. To break ranks was to drift far away 
from the blue, outlined mountains ; from the ties 
of devoted room-mates, not changed for years ; 
and, from her who had won the adoration of his 


10 From Dust to Ashes. 

heart. All, all seemed to be gliding away, as did 
the fading tones of that sad "Auld Lang Syne." 

Amid the chaff and chattering of elevated 
plebean corporals, more modest, but not less ex- 
alted sergeants, lieutenants and captains, whose 
happiness was tempered with dignity, four room- 
mates, including our captain, sauntered quietly 
to their double-tower rooms, to lay aside sword, 
sash and gun ; to shake off forever the dust of 
college, and prepare to step forth a citizen, to do 
duty in the great struggle of life, liberty and 
pursuit of happiness. 

Upon the evening of this day, the great event 
of the four seasons, the annual ball of the grad- 
uating class was to occur, under the auspices of 
our captain, whose taste and energy had given 
the walls and ceiling of the Mess Hall the ap- 
pearance of a thousand lights, reflecting the col- 
ors of every nationality, and dazzling the eyes 
of the beauties of many states; but, none more 
charming than those of the daughters of the 
grand old Commonwealth of Virginia. 

It is now the hour of midnight, and three ca- 
dets, ( 'apt. Phil Randolph, Lawrence Mayne and 
Eobert McKene are engaged in close conver- 
sation, apart from others. Speaking in a non- 
chalant way, Capt. Randolph remarked, " 1 sup- 
pose you two will report progress after the ball?" 

With downcast eyes, poor Lawrence answered, 


i II § 

•iiiiiiintiiHiiu 'It 


waNa^r<?Z*P^idm<th 'AY <-^%,>n fteaasr 


The Ball. 11 

sadly, that he feared that he would have noth- 
ing to report "worth mentioning," for be it 
remembered, though as true and honest a man 
or a soldier as any living being, he is not of the 
mould, nor gifted with nature's happy faculties, 
to impress or captivate the feminine heart. Im- 
agine a young man about twenty-one years of 
age, five feet and eleven inches in height, body 
flat and angular, a waist too near his shoulders, 
and which always enforced an unseemly crease 
in his uniform coat near the hips. His ears were 
large, his nose long and thin, and a mouth too 
broad for his face, and eyes neither blue, black 
nor gray, but verging toward hazel, they were 
cheerful and expressive; his hair was thin and 
straight — too straight. With this faint outline 
you have our dolorous friend, Lawrence Mayne. 

The brother room-mate, Robt. McKene, was 
just the reverse — perfect in figure, stout, strong 
and active. His head was crowned with wavy 
brown hair, and set with sparkling, laughing 
gray eyes. In a cheery, happy manner, which 
always characterized the man, he said: "Steady, 
Lawrence, a fig for a faint heart in the beginning 
of the action; remember old Jack's talk at our 
last recitation: 'Remember, gentlemen, when it 
becomes necessary and war is declared, and the 
sword is drawn, throw away the scabbard.' ' 

"Don't mind that handsome upstart. I don't 

12 From Bust to Ashes. 

like his bearing, or his hypocritical familiarity; 
that Mr. Van Horton, I mean." 

"Oh, Rob, you are always my guardian angel." 

u Je suis re que je suis," remarks Lawrence, 
"and for better and for worse. I can't hold a 
candle to that blarsted fellow ; and moreover, she, 
to whom he now talks so earnestly, is from the 
same State up north, and there is where the ad- 
ditional advantage comes in." 

Three ladies are now approaching, each lean- 
ing upon the arm of her escort, for the merry 
dance has been in full swing for three hours, 
and while the musicians are being refreshed, the 
couples are promenading to see and be seen. 

"Come," was the one word spoken by Cap- 
tain Randolph, and with smiles and happy 
greetings each swung in upon the unoccupied 
side of his respective lady-love. The old adage 
of a new broom applies here, and not many steps 
are taken before the three room-mates are left 
each in the sweet possession of the object of his 
affection. We will not weary the reader with a 
lengthy description of these young ladies, but 
simply say that Captain Randolph was bending 
his head low and speaking to a typical southern 
beauty, clear complexion, cheeks tinged with 
the rich, roseate hue of the peach-bloom, shaded 
by hair as dark and glossy as the raven's wing, 
and eyes lustrous, beautiful (ravishing) black 

A Bevy of Beauties. 13 

eyes, with a pliant and petite figure ; as such we 
introduce Miss Marguerite Darlington. 

With Kobert McKene was the tall, lithe blonde, 
the pretty and talented first born of a neighbor- 
ing pastor, in whose love he felt secure, each 
bound not only by affection's tie, but by a sim- 
ilarity of faith, being both communicants of 
the same denomination, and as was often said 
around the table when books grew tiresome, that 
"they were born for one another." 

With Lawrence Mayne came the vivacious 
little blonde from New York, Miss Sadie Carday, 
whose petite form was enhanced by contrast with 
her partner. Her head was thrown back, 
crowned with innumerable yellow curls, her 
piquante face upturned and her blue eyes reflect- 
ing those of enraptured Lawrence, smiling and 
nodding with that same sweet little ' 'yes, ' ' ' 'yes, ' ' 
"really," which we had heard so often in our 
hours of leisure, when rules were broken and 
visits stolen. As we look back now, a feeling 
of sad and weary recollection pervades our 
whole being. 

The events of that night of music, the dance, 
the merry voices of the revellers, are the memo- 
ries of happy hours, the glimpses of bright sails, 
cloudless skies, a smooth and unruffled sea ; no 
sign of storm, of hidden reef nor mountain 
billows; no shipwreck, no deeds of bloodshed, 

14 From Bust to Ashes. 

no thought of grim-visaged war or of sudden 

The evening is spent, the lights are extin- 
guished, and each room-mate is happy in the 
escort of his lady-love home. 

The 5th of July finds the coaches all busy in 
loading cadets and baggage for a homeward 
journey, and our heroes depart, swearing allegi- 
ance unalterable and undying; and thus the dust 
of college is shaken from their garments, and 
left behind forever. 

Four years later, a tall, soldierly-looking man 
is leaning carelessly against a stanchion of the 
guards of one of the floating palaces of the great 
Mississippi river; his gaze is fixed upon the 
seemingly moving landscape, as the big boat 
ploughs its way through the muddy waters. It 
is growing towards the close of the day, and a 
stillness pervades the hour, only broken by the 
escape of steam and the splash of the wheels. 
Clad in a hunter's garb, with high-topped boots, 
owe would hardly recognize the beau. Captain 
Randolph, or him who was one time called the 
best dressed man in the western city of M . 

It grows late, but still he keeps his place; 
there is a step near him ;m<l lie incidentally 
turns and meets the gaze of a stranger, bearded 

Captain Randolph. 15 

like himself. Approaching, he asks, in an in- 
sinuating' voice : 

"Is this not Captain Randolph, who was so 
attentive to the beautiful Marguerite Darlington 
at the ball in Lexington a few years ago ! ' ' 

The answer comes slowly and deliberately: 

" I believe it is, sir; but, pardon me, who are 

"Well, I took the advantage of your room- 
mate, and now I have done the same for you. 
Well! well, my beard is my protector, as the 
lapse of four years has given me this advantage 
— but, in truth, I am the Van Horton, whom 
Miss Sadie Carday introduced to yourself and 
friends. I am glad to meet you, as I am now 
hurrying north from New Orleans. The Crescent 
City is a little too warm for my comfort, therm- 
ally and politically, and I long for home and a 
more congenial condition of politics ; but there 
goes the gong; let us sup, and over our cigars 
this evening talk of old times and of those to 

Seated in the saloon, Van Horton meets the 
calm and earnest gaze of Randolph, and abruptly 
asks : 

"What do you think of this firing on Fort 

With a coolness born of a spirit of contempt, 
engendered four years before, Randolph an- 

16 From Bust to Ashes. 

swers: "That they meant business, and burnt 
some powder." 

Quickly questions Van Horton : 

"Oh! but I mean what about the South, and 
will Virginia go out?" 

"The South," answers Randolph, "I fear 
means war. Virginia will be the last to go out, 
but afterwards, like her Washington, will be first 
in the war." 

With the air of one indulging in a speculative 
soliloquy, Van Horton adds: 

"It looks strange, Randolph; here we are, two 
good friends; we have no quarrel; we have 
supped at the same table, danced in the same 
quadrille, and now we are to make ready to cut 
each other's throats; and for what?" 

"There you are too hard for me," answers 
Randolph. "I claim the right of secession, and 
the principle of States' Rights, but the policy of 
secession I utterly condemn as the quintessence 
of folly. As you Northerners first in everything 
weigh the almighty dollar, if you want a cheap 
trade, in the cause of humanity, it would take 
an incubus from the shoulders of the Southern 
slaveholders, and cost millions less in dollars, 
and thousands of precious lives, to follow old 
England's example, purchase the slave and col- 
onize him in his native land." 

Memphis. 17 

Stung by the answer, Van Horton retorts, tes- 

"But your people have degraded the flag of 
our country, and replaced it with another; in 
fact, are inaugurating a rebellion, are personally 

"Now, stop there," said Randolph, rising up 
briskly. "You misrepresent, either from ignor- 
ance or from prejudice, and I will not hear it ; 
we own no parent government, as Washington 
did Great Britain, nor do we call it rebellion to 
differ with our brother ; and for the future — " 

But here the loud voice of the steamer's whis- 
tle, which effectually drowned all efforts at being 
heard, checked all conversation, and caused our 
disputants to join their fellow-passengers for- 
ward of the cabin, where the view of the bluffs 
of Fort Pickering and Memphis*, crowned with 
its long line of brick houses of business, the tall 
spires of its houses of worship and its long blank 
walls of ample cotton sheds greeted jdie eyes 
already grown tired of the sameness of river 
scenery, of sand-bar, snags, sawyers, cotton 
fields and fringing willows. 

With many bumps, and a river song by the 
crew, whose refrain, "Jee rang! oh, ho!" was 
given in chorus with a will, and not without 
melody, the stage plank is lowered, and the pas- 
sengers are now leaving who have Memphis for 

18 From Bust to Ashes. 

their destination. Slowly going up the bluff, 
Van Horton stopped, looked back and greeted 
Randolph with the words, "Gayoso, I suppose, 

"Yes, answered Randolph, I always stop 
there ; the proprietor, Cockrell and his boys are 
old friends of mine." 

" I shall go there too, remarked Van Horton, 
if only to stay long enough to tell you where I 
am going, and say good-bye." 1 

Oppressed with the companionship of an un- 
congenial acquaintance, Randolph rather sneer- 
ingly answered : 

1 ' Perhaps the thermometer which stood so 
high in New Orleans may read a few degrees 
higher here, and what is said, had better be de- 
livered in transitu." 

And as they walked only a few blocks dis- 
tance, Randolph learned that Sadie is the affi- 
anced of Van Horton; that she has discarded 
Laurence Mayne, who even now has been one 
of the foremost to enlist in the Confederate 
cause, and in her eagerness to vent her patriotic 
zeal, has written to her fiance Van Horton to 
come back to his native state and enlist in the 
ranks of its defenders; and winning glory, to be 
rewarded with smiles and affections of his de- 
voted Sadie. 

Painless Separation. 19 

' l Passengers going north by the Memphis & 
Ohio — all aboard!" cries the porter. 

u G-ood-bye, Randolph, we may meet again; 
who knows, and where!" 

And the form of Van Horton disappeared, 
and Randolph observed nothing, for his back is 
turned to the rattle of the 'bus. 

Chapter II. 

It is a bright, sunny morning, when the young- 
day is still lingering to kiss the dews of night ; 
the stillness of nature is only broken by the 
cock-crow from the lovely valley resting so 
peacefully under the shadow of the mountain 
spurs which now interpose their heads to the 
rising sun, waiting for the day-god's higher 
ascent to reveal its sylvan charms, and happy 
homes. Near the highway stood a plain but 
well-kept cottage; the summer roses had not 
all fallen, and the well-kept vines which clung 
to the porch, lattice and tree, with potted plants 
of fuschia, heliotrope and other hot-house growth 
scattered here and there, showed the presence of 
refinement and gentle woman's taste. 

20 From Dust to Ashes. 

An old man sat upon the porch, in gown and 
slippers ; a man of eighty years, with bald head, 
but above the neck, fringed with hair as white 
as snow ; his beard was long and like that of his 
head was snow white ; he was seated in a large 
rocker, quietly reading his Bible ; his good wife, 
a woman of some seventy years of age, as 
straight as an arrow, with jet black hair and 
features lovely in her old age, with hazel eyes 
which beamed love in every glance, stood near. 

The family servant, the only one left after 
their fallen fortunes and emigration from Vir- 
ginia, and a member of the family for forty 
years, with bucket in hand, stood at the front 
gate, on her way to the spring; but, hearing 
horse-hoofs up the road, she stopped and stood 
gazing, until a stranger, clad in gray, with his 
old blue slouched hat pulled over his eyes, and 
mounted upon a horse which looked able to dare 
and do what his master's rein and spur directed, 
drew up alongside of the gate, and with a gently- 
spoken "Whoa!" looked into the old, familiar 
face and said : 

' l Mammy, is this the way you welcome your 

The bucket dropped; Randolph was hauled 
from his steed, and with such expressions as 
"MyG-od! that I shouldn't know my child!" 
was hugged and kissed and thumped in the back 



A Colored Mammy. 21 

by his good old black mammy, until rescued by 
his mother and father, who, in their quiet way, 
by gentle effort, came to the rescue, and wel- 
comed their boy with smiles and kisses and 
loving words. 

With the appearance of the youngest child, a 
girl of sweet sixteen, a bright and happy mortal, 
with the figure of a goddess and a face to match, 
lovely lips and laughing, blue eyes and bonnie, 
brown hair — the pet sister of our hero, the clamor 
of tongues, inquiring, admiring and wondering, 
would have upset and silenced a man of even 
sterner stuff than our hero. 

''Well, Master Phil, honey! you did fool me 
that time sure," says mammy, and off she goes 
into one of those stereotyped laughs, that was 
as dear to his ears, as it had lingered always in 

The good, old hands fondled his hand and 
smoothed his hair, and, having caught her 
breath, continues: 

"And, honey, where have you been? What 
have you been doing? So tall and straight, with 
the same kinky head of my baby boy! " 

And while all this is going on the sister is kiss- 
ing the cheeks and lips of the soldier brother, 
while the aged parents are sitting helplessly 
smiling and drinking in the comforting joy 
begotten by the unexpected and happy return 

22 From Bust to Ashes. 

of their boy to their hearts and home. But, ah! 
how soon was that joy to be changed to sadness, 
by an absence shrouded in the smoke of battle 
and poisoned by the raids of ruthless robbers. 

" My son," says the father, "I see that you 
have on our color, but where is your command 
and what is your rank \ ' ' 

Randolph answers that he is captain on staff 
duty, but now on special service to Columbia, 
South Carolina. 

"But, tell me, father, how do you like the 
mountains of Tennessee?" 

"You understand, my son," answers the old 
man, "that this is East Tennessee, and there are 
many ignorant mountaineers, who are not pat- 
terns of nobility in any sense, and they claim to 
be good Confederates, when our troops hold the 
country, and are equally positive that they are 
good Federals when the Yankees are here ; they 
are robbers at heart, and I expect to contribute 
to their rapacity, but not without an effort of my 
old arms to protect my own ; but tell us of the 
news ; we are twelve miles from the railroad, and 
news by letters or papers seldom reaches us." 

Randolph then proceeds to tell of the battles 
around Fredericksburg; of the second Manassas, 
of Sharpsburg, the raging and gallant defense 
of Fort Sumter, and of Battery Wagner, and the 

Randolph Hears News. 23 

sinking of the Keokuk, much of which he was 
an eye-witness to. 

An old soldier of 1812, the eyes of the old 
nian kindle, and eagerly he listens to every de- 
tail, but even now we can see the quiet look of 
the good, old mother; can see the weary eyes, 
from whose pupils look a heart more weary, as 
she gazes at that never-ending click, click, click 
of the knitting-needles, but whose steadfast look 
was not there, but far away with her four boys, 
following the red battle-flag, one of whom, her 
gallant baby boy, was so soon to be brought 
home and laid away in a soldier's grave. 

"We had the pleasure of a visit the last time 
the Yankees were here," says his sister, "from a 
Captain Van Horton, and he said that he knew 

"I know him," remarked Randolph. "What 
of him ?" 

"Oh, he came with a lot of tories, negroes, 
mountain-cats and Yankees, and one of our 
neighbors, hanging on to their troop, wanted to 
take my mare, Bessie. Captain Van Horton was 
good enough to prevent that. I have Bessie yet, 
and the Yankees may get her, but the tories 
never. ' ' 

This sister, we will here inform the reader, had 
lately married, and her home was upon a beau- 
tiful farm some five miles distant, and midway 

2-1 From Bust to Ashes. 

between her father's place and the thriving vil- 
lage of Gr . 

A younger brother was in command of a bat- 
talion of cavalry, whose duty it was to patrol this 
very section, and, by consequence, the family 
was rather a thorn in the side of good Unionists. 

Knowing his brother's dashing character, his 
handsome appearance, musical genius, and fond- 
ness of the society of the ladies v Randolph with- 
out hesitation asked, "Is Southey in danger of 
capture either by Yankees or by any of the fair 
damsels f " 

In a moment a cloud descended upon the 
group, as his mother calmly raises her eyes and 
answers, "That between 'that woman' and Cap- 
tain Van Horton, Southey was not in a position 
to enjoy either his home or the society of ladies. " 

"But who is 'that woman!' and what has Van 
Horton to do with it?" interrogates Randolph. 

"That woman, my son, is the daughter of the 
most honored gentleman of the county, our friend 
and neighbor; she is rather handsome, and in- 
telligent, but it is all distorted by the intensity 
of her venom ; her very being is absorbed with 
the one idea of hate and revenge." 

"But I pray you tell me, mother, her haunts," 
said Randolph, in mimic fear, "that I may evade 
her poisoned shafts; and does she go armed?" 

A Woman in the Case. 25 

"Do not trifle, niy son; yon know the saying, 
that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." 

"Is that the matter? Who scorned her!" re- 
torts Randolph. 

"Your brother, Southey," answers his mother. 

"Ah-h-h! There's where the shoe pinches," 
and Randolph relapses into a revery. 

Click, click, click, goes the needles, and Ran- 
dolph still is silent and in thought. 

The day wanes, the soldier currys his horse, 
fills his trough with corn and his rack with fod- 
der, and then goes to visit his mulatto mammy, 
to talk of times in Old Virginia when she bossed 
him, in his happy childhood days. 

Seated upon her door-step, and enjoying the 
smoke from his old briar-root companion, Ran- 
dolph asks: 

"Aunt Rachel, it's rather quiet down here, is 
it not?" 

"Well, mostly;" she answers, "but for the 
raiders — sometimes the Yankees, sometimes the 
robbers, and sometimes the Confederates. Be- 
tween the three, we have trouble enough; and 
may the good Lord curse the wretches who stole 
my grave-clothes, all the most beautiful linen, 
all packed up and under my bed, when the 
Yankees raided here last, and they stole the lot. 
Thank God, old mistress saved her silver; for 
your sister Lucy put on a pair of Southey' s 
pants and climbed the big tree over the house, 

26 From Bust to Ashes. 

and tied the things to top boughs and saved 

"Aunt Rachel," says Randolph, "tell me 
about brother Southey and 'that woman' 
mother spoke of, and about a Captain Van Hor- 
ton, lately here," 

"Lor' honey, (with a chuckle) it is such a 

mix. You see 'that woman' is Miss F , 

(you know her, of course you do), she is dead 
in love with Major Southey, and this Captain 

Van Horton and Miss F now are very great 

friends. You remember that big school-house 

in Gr . It is said that Southey unexpectedly 

visits that school one day, was seen to leave in 
a very few moments, mount his horse and ride 
away like the wind. You know what a horse- 
man he is; always at home on a horse's back. 
His troop passed some weeks later and he re- 
fused to recognize or return the salutation of Miss 
F , and ordered your sister never to recog- 
nize her. Now, honey, you know it all. And 
oh, that woman's tongue! Since then she has 
circulated the lie that Southey was a coward!" 

"No, it cannot be that the daughter of so 
good a father would stoop to slander," says 

"Yes, son, it is even so ; but people here don't 
mind her lies, nor is she even respected any 
more; but abroad where she is not known, it 

Over the Hills and Far Away. 27 

might hurt, and moreover, she is breaking her 
old father's heart." 

Let us say right here, for the benefit of those 
who might expect the negro dialect, that Rachel 
is a true character, raised in the dwelling-house 
of her white people, partaking of their manners, 
customs and language, and in pride of family 
and respectful conduct would set a bright ex- 
ample for many of her unasked, unwanted and 
over-zealous sympathizers . 

After along and pleasant chat, Randolph rises. 

With a kindly "good-night, and may God bless 
you child," the old mammy closes her door, and 
Randolph retires to his room, thoughtful, sad, 
weary of body and of mind. 

Two more days with the loved ones, and at 
early dawn of the fourth day he is mounted on 
the back of his gallant old charger, and with 
the warm kisses of affection still clinging to his 
lips, and the fervent prayer for God's good 
guidance on his journey of all the household, 
Randolph turns his horse's head towards the 
road, crosses the mountain, and directs his 
course up the romantic valley of the French 
Broad, intending to strike the railroad at Green- 
ville, South Carolina. As he journeyed, trouble- 
some thoughts of the loved ones at home 
and "thatwoman," would crowd upon his mind, 
bringing worry and anxiety, and as the sequel 
proved, not without cause. 

From Dust to Ashes. 

Chaptee III. 

Columbia, South Carolina, was duly reached, 
and after a stay of two weeks, Randolph, with 
one hundred and fifty men, detailed from the 
camp near the city, bid adieu to the city and 
took the cars en route to the Army of Northern 
Virginia, then encamped around Fredericksburg, 
facing the army of General Hooker of Chancel- 
lorsville fame, and yclept Fighting Joe. Re- 
porting to his chief, he was once again with his 
brother staff officers, exchanging the news of 
the trip for the gossip of the camp. 

The long, lazy body of Captain Noble, a 
member of the staff, is observed to move, and 
with a half-awakened ' ' Hello ! " he chants his 
thoughts : " Lo ! the lost sheep is gathered to 
its flock, and the shepherd rejoiceth, beholding 
the contents of his well-filled haversack, which 
the children of Jacobaster hath swung upon his 
neck. Say, Randolph, did you not remember our 
bowels, nor have compassion for the same, nor 
even remember in the days of thy youth and 
painful verdancy that tjie juice of corn — yea, 
even of the peach or apple, would please our 
palates, and cause our hearts to leap for joy?" 

11 Come, Noble," answers Randolph, " the sun 
may be held accountable for many changes in 

Welcome to the " Grub-Box." 29 

nature, but I can swear that he never painted 
your nose, nor can even the shadow of his 
friendly eclipse hide its roseate shame. You 
bear the evidence of your own conviction of 
living too high, both in meat and drink." 

Noble shuts his eyes and groans out in mock 
agony: '-'He is lost! lost! gone clean astray; 
been 'living too high,' and judges his betters by 
himself; " and quickly sitting up, he says, "I will 
bet the mess five to one that Randolph is fixed ; 
that he has a box and something good com- 
ing; open up the game, old boy, or I will give 
you away, for I am the possessor of a message 
for you from a — a — now who do you suppose! 77 

" I know your propensity for schemes, 77 an- 
swers Randolph ; ' 'play honest, Noble, for I never 
liked the word ' bribery. 7 77 

"My most obtusely verdant youth, and auto- 
crat of the grub-box, keep on in the error of thy 
ways, the fool is wise in his own conceit, and 
when thou coolest, I will hearken unto thee ; and, 
further, I have taken charge, have concealed, 
and preserved, one sweet, little missive from a 
small village called Lexington, where thou did 7 st 
strut and perspire, with sword and sash and a 
high cock 7 s feathers, as a valiant captain of Com- 
pany B, 77 and Noble, with a grand assumption 
of dignity and nonchalance, quietly subsides. 

"I surrender, 77 said Randolph; "come fel- 

30 From Dust to Ashes. 

lows, all hands ; I have a box, and in it a present 
of magnificent French brandy, just through the 
blockade, the pure stuff; it was given me by 
that generous patriot, Mr. Wagner, of the firm 
of Trenholm & Co., of Charleston, S. C. ; he 
gave me, also, this elegant suit while in Col- 
umbia," and while the staff enjoyed, the well- 
filled box of luxuries, Eandolph read the follow- 
ing letter: 

" Lexington, Va., March 10, 186—. 
"Dear Captain: With all our woes, none seem so hard 
to bear as the suffering of our dear friends. 

" You remember that on the 25th ult. your room-mate, 
Robert McKene, was to have been married to his long- 
loved sweetheart, Miss S . News has reached us that 

he was killed at the head of his men, cheering them to re- 
pel a surprise. I know that you loved him well, for he was 
so true and brave, yet so gentle, and for this I suffer more, 
because I know how your heart will bleed. Poor Miss 

S is almost distracted with grief. May a merciful God 

bring comfort to a stricken heart, and teach her to trust to 
His mercy. 

"Can you come and see us? We will be so happy to look 
upon your face once more. 

"Wishing you all manner of good fortune in battle and 
in camp, I am, as ever, Your affectionate 


The first one of the three shot dead! The 
noise of the mess fell discordantly upon his ears ; 
but with the sweet words of his best loved before 
his eyes, his mind was in part withdrawn from 
the contemplation of the loss of his friend, and 

News of the First Killed. 31 

just then the deep, sullen roar of a piece of artil- 
lery, as its echoing sound faintly died away, 
brought vividly to his mind the fact that they 
were soldiers, and a soldier had but to die when 
duty called. 

With a heavy heart he joined the mess, and 
filling his glass, he turned to his brother officers, 
and with eyes bedimmed with tears, and a heart 
too full for utterance, he drank to the last drop 
in the glass. 

"Did she saw you off, old boy!" questions 
Capt. Noble. 

"Read!" answers Randolph, as he threw the 
note in their midst. 

After reading, it was remarked by several that 
they were aware of the fact, many days before ; 
that it was but the fate of war: "One of us 
may go to-morrow, still the army will march and 
counter-march, the flags will flutter as merrily 
in the breeze, and the war will go on all the 
same, and the dead forgotten." 

So they descant upon the news, until the 
cheery voice of Captain Noble is heard saying : 

"Cheer up, old man; you don't smoke, we 
do, so we'll destroy your weeds, while you im- 
bibe. Attention! fill up, let joy abound! And 
now, Randolph, I will give you the promised 
message. Your friend, Lawrence Mayne, rode 
over from the 11th Virginia, and joined us in 

32 From Dust to Ashes. 

our magnificent repast — menu: bread, coffee, 
meat. He wanted to see you bad, real bad; he 
seemed to be rather in the dumps, you know the 
dumps — upset, as it were. He says that he 
wants you to send a courier over to him to 
notify him as soon as you arrive. Now, save 
him a wee drop of that French soothing syrup, 
and you brace him up and save his soul." 

And with like chaff of the mess, the evening 
passes away, and one by one each rolls down 
his blanket, and the sullen boom of a Yankee 
gun, now and then, only mars the stillness of 
the night, but fails to disturb the slumbers of 
the staff around the tent of Cfeneral R . 

The next day dawns brightly, and as soon as 
breakfast is finished a courier is sent to the 

camp of General G , with the " Compliments 

of Captain Randolph, and would Adjutant 
Mayne please call at the headquarters of Gen- 
eral R ?" 

The bugle was just sounding the dinner call 
when Adjutant Mayne entered .Randolph's tent, 
with a smile upon his face, but oh! the sadness 
of that smile. Extending his hand, he says: 

u Welcome! and the lost is found, and now 
we will kill the fatted calf, call in our gray- 
backed cherubs, and let us make merry. Tell 
us first the news of home, and of Marguerite; 
did you see her?" 

Mayne Tells What He Knows. 33 

"No, indeed," answers Randolph; "Cupid 
hides his bow when Mars issues his stern com- 
mands. Of home I am troubled." 

Adjutant Mayne, speaking slowly, if not sadly, 

1 1 When you mentioned trouble I am reminded 
of the object of my visit, perhaps to further bur- 
den you. Hooker is across the river; our scouts 
tell us of the massing of men, as if the whole 
Yankee nation, with Europe, Asia and Africa 
to aid them, was enclosing us poor, hungry and 
ragged few in its embrace ; and before we l mix ' 
with them I want to talk with you, as we did 
when 'rats' in old No. 17 at the V. M. I." 

"G-o on, Lawrence; I am all attention," an- 
swers Randolph. 

Mayne asks: "Do you remember that fellow 
Van Horton!" 

Randolph nods affirmatively. 

"Well," continues Mayne, "that man is not 
of this country at all, but a miserable importa- 
tion from Europe, and is both robber and spy; 
under the garb of a Federal captain when play- 
ing soldier, and Mr. Hobson as spy." 

"Really, you astonish me!" answers Ran- 
dolph. "Where do you get your information?" 

"An exchanged prisoner brought me a note 
from dear little Sadie," answers the adjutant, 
telling me of the impostor and scoundrel ; that 

34 From Dust to Aslies. 

her father, knowing his disreputable character, 
has requested his absence from his house, and 
that she had admired his fine appearance, but 
never loved, and now despised him; that she 
was my own littte sweetheart, and by the help of 
friends and gold, was coming down to the home 
of Marguerite to be in easy reach, where I could 
visit her when duty allowed. Now, isn't that 
delighful! " 

u Yes, it is delighful," answers Randolph, 
' ' but what has that to do with the long face that 
you are wearing! " 

1 l Oh ! now you have me ; it is so good of her, 
the sweet little Yankee darling, to leave home 
and friends, and come away here in this starving 
country, for what! Only to see me. It is so 
much happiness, that it seems unnatural, and it 
oppresses me, and I fear, yes and even tremble 
lest I shall lose it." 

After thus speaking, Adjutant Mayne seems 
absorbed in gloomy forebodings. 

" Look here, Mayne," says Randolph, "you 
are dyspeptic." Noble, and all the mess in fact, 
foresaw the need of a tonic, and the same is 
now provided, and by the help of my right 
bower, the Jack of Spades, we will proceed to 
test the efficacy of the dose. " Here Jack, you 
black rascal ! " (a trim young negro appears); 
"bring fresh water and two glasses. Now, 

Pelham Appears. 35 

Lawrence, here's a health to all good lassies, 
and our's especially; down she goes." 

"Randolph, do yon ever see the dark side of 
anything ? ' ' 

"The clown must keep the audience merry, if 
his darling babe lies at home dying in its 
mother's arms," answers Randolph : "and I ad- 
vise you further to brace up, and if fortune or 
misfortune puts the robber or spy into our pos- 
session, we will not have to look very far for a 

As the word "halter" is spoken, a small and 
slender young man, with a bright face, with light 
hair, and dressed in the uniform of an artillery 
officer, suddenly appears before the two speakers, 
and curtly asks: "Who wants a halter? I have 
plenty for such work, and may have use for less 
in a day or two." 

The speaker is Captain Pelham, already known 
to fame, and an ex-cadet of the V. M. I. 

"Why," says Randolph, "what's up?" 

"Don't you know," goes on Pelham, "that 
Hooker has crossed the river, both the Rapidan 
and Rappahannock, and is in Chancellorsville, 
and is fortifying ? I saw Old Stonewall and Massa 
Bob hobnobbing awhile ago, and we'll hear the 
music of the brass band before many hours. 
You both are in it, for yon both are with Rodes, 
and he and Stonewall are too much alike not to 

36 From Bust to Ashes. 

be first in the fray. But I am in a hurry; just 
stopped in to give you a hint. Load up." 

"We have, in another way, and have a charge 
for you. Come, stand in, and here's to victory ! ' ' 

This announcement put an end to further con- 
versation, and the friends separate in quest of 
further news. Pelham goes straight to meet 
Averill at Kelly's Ford and drive him back, and 
then to give up his young life, a sacrifice upon 
the altar of his country on that memorable 17th 
day of March, 1863. 

The days roll by, but now all is bustle and 
hurry ; the couriers flash by on errands of haste ; 
long lines of veterans clad in gray, with bayonets 
glistening in the sun, stand in readiness for the 
conflict ; now and then is heard the sharp report 
of the picket as he cautiously feels the way for 
the masses in blue behind him, and high above 
all is the roar of the big guns ; for on this 29th 
day of April, 20,000 Federal troops have crossed 
the Rappahannock River, and now threaten the 
right and rear of Lee's army at Hamilton's 
Crossing. This effort at a diversion falls a flat 
failure, for Lee well knows that the bulk of the 
Yankee army is at Chancellorsville and well en- 

If it was the inspiration of Hooker to attract 
attention to the Confederate right, and then to 
move out of his fortified stronghold upon Lee's 

Chancellors ville. 37 

left, and to double up his army and crush it, or 
drive it into the river by the sheer force of his 
masses, perhaps, acting upon the old maxim, 
similia similibus cwantur, caused Lee to put into 
execution the tactics so feebly undertaken by his 

Leaving one division of Jackson's corps to 
watch the movement of the 20,000 under G-eneral 
Sedgewick, Lee hurries with Jackson, who, mov- 
ing the three remaining divisions of his corps, 
namely: Rodes, A. P. Hill and Colston, which 
joining Anderson, already at the Tabernacle 
Church, five miles from Chancellorsville, pro- 
ceed to "attack and repulse the enemy," as per 
order of the Commander-in-Chief. 

Anderson with his command, as gallant and 
true and steady as the Old G-uard of Napoleon, 
deploy with their faces towards Chancellorsville, 
and sweep forward to meet the trained regulars 
of the United States army, under Sykes, and 
force them back, with all their vaunted prowess, 
to the music of that "rebel yell" which had 
quickened the pulses and oftener the heels of the 
blue-coated soldiery, from the First Manassas 
down to the present time. 

Jackson, throwing forward to Anderson's re- 
lief the four brigades of Lane, Heth, Ramsour 
and McGrowau, continued to press the enemy 
back until reaching the enemy's first line of in- 

38 From Dust to Ashes. 

trenchments, which had been masked until 
reached, owing to the density of the growth of 
timber ; and finding the day far spent, a halt was 
called, and the army was bivouacked about two 
miles from Chancellorsville. In the short time 
the Federal forces had occupied Chancellorsville 
they had shown an activity, energy and enter- 
prise, thoroughly in keeping with their universal- 
ly accorded reputation of go-aheadativeness, but 
betraying by their beaver-like energy of turning 
up the earth, felling trees, planting abattis, etc., 
that "protection" was the desideratum, and the 
cutting off of Lee's retreat when so ceremo- 
niously "bagged," the airy dream of a newly 
fledged "Correspondent. ' ' 

Many a jolly Confederate veteran wondered at 
the magnitude of labor performed by soldiers 
who had the world to feed them, and the world 
to replenish their shattered ranks. To cut off 
the line of Confederate retreat, General Hooker 
had very thoughtfully, for the emergency Df an as- 
sault from the direction of Fredericksburg, by a 
double line of works in the shape of two sides of a 
rectangle, one side running north and south and 
facing Fredericksburg, and crossing the main road 
between the two places, and the other side perpen- 
dicular to it facing south, with front to the 
timber called The Wilderness, and its rear parallel 
to the river. In a council of war it was decided 

Chancellor sville. 39 

upon, on the part of the Confederates, that by 
reason of the impregnability of Hooker's posi- 
tion and the disparity of forces, a front attack 
should be abandoned, and more especially from 
motives of humanity. 

But a man was there who never turned his 
back when a fight was on, and Stonewall Jack- 
son, the stern old warrior, whose frown was a 
volume of reproof, and whose smile stole the 
heart and cheered the soul as a rift of sunshine 
through the clouds of despair, was the man to 
solve the problem. 

A narrow, crooked and unkept by-road de- 
bouched to the left, hedged in by an interminable 
growth of vines, pines and scrub-oak, winding 
westwardly, then northerly, then westwardly 
again till the old Brock road is reached. By this 
route and a night march the Man of Menassas 
proposed to flank the Federal Hooker and solve 
the problem of "cutting off a line of retreat." 

Thus, while one portion of the army under Lee 
slept, Jackson at break of day, with Eodes in 
front, followed by A. P. Hill's and Colston's di- 
visions, was on the inarch through the thicket 
of The "Wilderness, with the accompaniment only 
of their own foot-falls, and the melancholy calls 
of the whip-poor-wills, who seem to have espe- 
cially colonized this gloomy thicket. 

Arriving at the Furnace, and while placing a 

■40 From Bust to Ashes. 

regiment in position to guard an approach from 
a by-road from Chancellorsville to that point, our 
old friend Randolph meets Adjutant Mayne, and 
after greetings they were discussing the chances 
of the hazardous movement, when their atten- 
tion is suddenly attracted to a courier, who, dash- 
ing up, hands General Jackson a note, and with 
cap in hand awaits his orders. 

" That's General Stuart's courier," says Ran- 
dolph, " now watch." 

The note being read, Jackson raises his head; 
there is a kindling of the eye, the faintest trace 
of a smile, and a curt, "Thanks, my compli- 
ments to General Stuart; that will do sir." 

And replacing his cap, the courier rides back 
to his command. 

"Ah! ha! see that!" says Randolph, "you 
know old Jack too long to be unable to read the 
answer to the question ; if we don't give them a 
1 side wipe ' after Jackson's most improved style 7 
I'm a tinker." And now having reached the 
Brock road, they make better progress, and 
coming in sight of the cavalry, they passed 
Jackson and Stuart on an elevation, glasses in 
hand, examining the enemy's right flank and 

Knowing that every man now should be at his 
post, Randolph bids his old friend "au revoir," 
and jestingly adds, "we'll drive them across the 

The Bout. 41 

creek and win a furlough, and then we'll go to- 
gether to see — you know who, my lad. The 
Lord be with you." 

Adjutant Mayne, looking him steadily in the 
face, with a solemnity as unusual as it was in- 
expressible, simply answered, "Amen!" 

And now the time is come. Rodes' division 
is deployed; six hundred feet behind comes A. 
P. Hill's, a similar space is Colston's division, 
both the latter in column. As fast as the men 
can penetrate the thicket they advance upon the 
unsuspecting troops of the Federal left flank. 

At fifteen minutes past 5 o'clock Jackson let 
slip his dogs of war, and if the eager hunter 
chased faster or a more demoralized quarry, he 
or they are entitled to the blue ribbon, over all 
past and present lovers of the chase. 

The men of Rodes burst upon the unsuspi- 
cious German troops of Howard, the noted Elev- 
enth Corps of Sigel, who incontinently lost their 
suppers, and with the joyous u rebel yell," and 
the quickning crash of musketry and artillery, 
so utterly disorganized and demoralized were 
they, that losing their heads, they rushed head- 
long to the rear, crashing into trees, reckless of 
everything in front, but determined to flee from 
the wrath behind. 

Soon Hill and Colston came up, to add to the 
enthusiasm, and all went over the enemy's 

42 From Bust to Ashes. 

works, carrying confusion badly confounded to 
the flying Dutch ; and now mingled with the rush 
of men, were the maddened rush of riderless and 
uncontrolled horses, battery wagons, ambu- 
lances, gun-carriages, caissons — some flying, 
some overturned, many poor brutes in harness 
struggling in the helpless agony of death, either 
by shot or collision — all, all one inextricable 
mass of frightened men and brutes. 

Whole regiments ran without firing a gun, 
throwing away their guns to facilitate their 
speed; madly seeking safety from the wrath of 
the yelling Reb. 

Batteries, in their mad haste, crashed against 
tree or stump, were captured, and turned upon 
the fleeing mob. 

Who could paint with pen or brush the awful 
stampede of that day, so as to portray to the 
man of to-day the awful terror of the fleeing, 
and the reckless chase for life and safety. 

On, on came the yelling Confederates, plant- 
ing their volleys upon the backs of flying men, 
even in solid column. 

With the incessant volleys of Confederate 
musketry, men, horses, wagons and all the par- 
aphernalia of war were jumbled into such an 
inextricable confusion that it seemed a panorama 
of pandemonium, upon the fields of Hades, 
with all the aroma of its sulphurous canopy. In 



■v. _j 

■% > 

■1 ' to 

H ■ o 

Vf — i 

-- 5 ■■-:>• _j 

5^1 o 

Mayne Falls with Jackson. 43 

a word, as expressed by a Northern writer, " the 
stampede was universal, the disgrace general." 

Until 8 o'clock p. m. the route continued to a 
point, where a ridge was occupied, one-half mile 
from Hooker's stronghold at the Chancellor 

Our two young officers, whom we left about 
to go into action from the Brock road, were 
with their respective commands, and though 
going into the battle in different divisions, found 
themselves together again, by the intermingling 
of the different commands, being so intent in 
their enthusiasm, that discipline gave place to 
ardor, and for this intermingling, together with 
the darkness, a halt was called. 

If Jackson, like Joshua of old, could have 
called a halt of the sun for two short hours, the 
Sixteenth Army Corps of Hooker would have 
had a shorter and a different history to record. 

Our young friends met cordially, and were 
exchanging the commonplace greetings and con- 
gratulations of so successful a move, when 
Mayne was called away to carry a message to 
G-eneral Jackson. In the gloom of the trees, he 
was pointed out the direction of his search, and 
after many pulls and rubs of vines and boughs, 
he came near the person of the General, when, 
without any warning, or aDy conceivable object, 
the gloom lighted up with a heavy volley fired 

44 From Bust to Ashes. 

from the Confederate infantry. Adjutant Mayne 
fell badly wounded, with him many others, and 
oh ! sad day for the Confederacy, he, the idol 
of the army, at last lay crushed by the rifles of 
his own troops ! 

The pride of a glorious victory vanished from 
the white faces of his gallant men, and oh ! the 
wail that went up from the hearts of soldiers, 
and from thousands at the hearths of their 
Southern homes. 

With the left arm of Jackson went the strength 
of the right arm of Lee ; with his life went the 
hopes of thousands for future success ; but with 
his life as he spent it, his deeds as he wrought 
them, his patriotism, piety and glory, all will 
stand out in history, in all time, as a shining 
example of virtue, honor and heroism. 

At dawn the next morning, Bob, the darkey 
henchman of Mayne, came to Randolph at the 
outposts, and with tears and lamentations, tells 
him that his master's horse was caught with 
bloody saddle, and that he was now hitched near 
the hospital at the intersection of the old turn- 
pike and the Grermania plank road; that no 
one would answer him, and that he " knowed 
mvffinV * 

Sending the boy back to the hospital, Ran- 
dolph followed with many misgivings. As he 
rode back over the field, hundreds of dead bodies 

Bob Finds the Wounded. 45 

of men and horses encumbered the ground, lit- 
erally strewed with every appliance of war, 
which could be supplied by a government en- 
riched by a war of oppression and plunder. 

His mind oppressed with unwelcome thoughts, 
Randolph found himself involuntarily repeating 
that parting word, Amen ; and lifting his eyes 
discovered the ubiquitous Bob running towards 
him, and with a sickly display of white teeth, 
saying: u I found him, sir! hurt bad and wants 
you. I told him you was a-coming." 

Arriving at the hospital, Bob takes his horse, 
and Randolph enters a shed-room near where 
Jackson lies in mortal agony. 

Upon an improvised bed, made of straw, and 
covered with an army blanket, Randolph finds 
his comrade ; his &ale face with closed eyes, his 
blood-stained uniform meet his gaze. Approach- 
ing closer he tenderly lifts the hand of Mayne, 
when their eyes meet in mutual love and sym- 
pathy; no words pass their lips, only a gentle 
pressure of the hands, and the stillness is only 
interrupted by the gentle tread of the surgeons 
and their assistants hurriedly attending their 
anxiously awaiting patients. The services of the 
surgeon performed, he administers a simple nar- 
cotic, and the frown begotten of pain slowly dis- 
appears from the patient's face, and sweet sleep, 
now so near the cousin of death, clasps the sol- 

46 From Bust to Ashes. 

dier in its dreamy embrace. While Randolph 
gently bathes his feverish brow and moistens his 
lips, the surgeon tells him that Mayne's wounds 
bear the signature and seal of Death ; that they 
are beyond the control of a surgeon's art. 

Sleep brings life a short reprieve, and the suf- 
ferer asks to telegraph to Lexington and see if 
Sadie had come, and if so, to come without de- 
lay to Fredericksburg, to the old Marye mansion, 
to which he begs to be taken. The surgeon 
makes no objection, and Randolph hurries away 
to obey. 

Returning eastwardly, he finds Hooker beaten 
back across the Rappahannock, the woods still 
smoking, where the wounded and the dead were 
caught in its cruel grasp on the day succeeding 
Jackson's wound, and pushing on, found Lee 
driving Sedgwick back in confusion across his 
pontoons at Banks' Ford ; and in a gloomy rain 
sat himself down to await the answer to his dis- 

After long, weary hours the welcome message 

came : "Lexington, May 7, 1863. 

il Capt. Phil. Randolph, 

"Care Gen. R. E. R., Fredericksburg, Va.: 
"We start immediately: meet us at train. 


Mounting his horse, Randolph returns with an 

ambulance, and twelve hours later his friend is, 

after a tedious trip, resting in the house whose 

Old Marye Mansion. 47 

name is a synonym of valor and virtue in the 
home circles of Fredericksburg and in the com- 
mand in which the name has served. 

In the quietness of the evening, the old Marye 
mansion looks over the town, now rent and torn 
by shot and shell, but within its walls, there 
hovers a spirit whose restlessness, expressed in 
long drawn sighs, quick and eager scanning of 
the door, tell of an unquietness born of a knowl- 
edge that certain things have a certain limit, and 
that limit is final and unalterable. 

Trains have a schedule, but "military neces- 
sity" side-tracks and holdovers disorder the best 
regulated ; and after hours of impatient waiting, 
inquiries unnoticed, or unanswered, a long whis- 
tle is heard, and a train comes in with its wheezy, 
overworked engine. But horror of horrors! in 
the box cars are huddled infantrymen, whose 
heads are poked out of every available hole, and 
who chaff every one without regard to color, rank 
or previous condition. 

About to turn away in despair, two ladies are 
observed to step from a rear coach, which is at- 
tached for the accommodation of the commis- 
sioned officers, and a figure but too well known 
not to be identified at such a distance, causes 
Captain Randolph to hasten to their side, if not 
to comfort, at least to lessen the weight of 

48 From Bust to Ashes. 

Little is said, but Randolph in his effort to 
gently prepare Sadie for the meeting desired, by 
tone and action betrays his knowledge, but his 
strong arm supports the drooping form till the 
threshold is passed and the outstretched arms of 
poor Mayne clasp the form of her he had loved so 
long and well, and the little head, still crowned 
with the wealth of sunny curls, is hidden on his 
neck, and with throbbing heart and aching tem- 
ples she pours out her thoughts in a torrent of 
loving words. 

"Tut, tut!" interposes good Doctor Murdock : 
"don't murder my patient with kindness. Come, 
ladies ; I am prepared for you ; I know that you 
are hungry and tired. Let your maid bring 
your sachels. A little rest for you and my pa- 
tient, and upon good behavior you shall have 
him all to yourselves." 

With a happy smile, Mayne, growing steadily 
weaker, sinks into a profound slumber, and as 
Randolph sits by his side, with the faithful Bob, 
he watches and notes the ominous, faint, quick 
breathing, and as night creeps on he discovers 
by the mantel clock that it is past the hour of 
midnight ; that Bob is dead asleep, and that he 
is almost nodding. The faintest sound of a 
footstep startles him. Was he dreaming? But 
drifting again toward dreamland, again he is 
aroused as if by the opening of a door. Feeling 

The Somnambulist. 49 

no anxiety, his pistols being near by upon the 
table at his side, he picked up a book, and had 
just opened to read, when again he surely heard 
a door open. Looking over the book — was he 
dreaming, or was it a spirit! Neither; for there 
stood Sadie, clad in a robe of soft blue material, 
with cuffs and neck trimmed with narrow lace, 
the beautiful neck exposed, clear and white as 
marble. She moved toward the wounded man 
softly with her slippered feet, her eyes wide open, 
but bent upon the floor. Grently kneeling by the 
bedside of her lover, .she clasped her hands, and 
bent her head, in the position of earnest, heart- 
broken supplication; the lips moved, but no 
word escaped the lips. Suddenly the maid hast- 
ily entered, and took the sleeper in her arms as 
a mother would her babe and disappeared, leav- 
ing Randolph still wondering and alone with his 

The door had scarcely closed behind the 
women, when an opposite door, opening upon 
the main hall, was gently opened and a man, 
seemingly of middle age, in the garb of an ordi- 
nary countryman, stood before Randolph. With 
a nod and a scrape of the foot he remarked that 
he " supposed this a tavern." 

"You will correct your supposition by retiring 
immediately," Randolph remarked. 

"Well," he answered, "curiosity will git the 

50 From Dust to Ashes. 

advantage of folks; but, I thought that I might 
find some acquaintances ; and, stranger, it 'pears 
like Iknowed you, and might know your folks." 

Fearing that he would awaken the sleeper, 
Randolph advanced towards the intruder un- 
armed, and when near enough to lay his hand 
upon him, the stranger quietly placed the muzzle 
of a revolver to his head, saying: "I am Mr. 
Van Horton, at your service. I came up on the 
same train with Sadie. As Mayne is dying, I 
will not kill him. I will remember you to your 
brother, whom I shall meet," and with a curse 
for Sadie, backed out into the night, and left 
Randolph trembling with rage, and stupefied by 
the suddenness of the unwelcome apparition. 

Morning broke clear and bright, and early 
came the girls, and soon the kind doctor, with 
a happy word of comfort for all. 

Randolph spoke no word of the night, nor 
was the adventure of the sleep-walker men- 

Sadie, with all the loving care of a mother, 
bathed the face and hands of her lover, smoothed 
his hair and softly kissed his lips, and placing 
her chair so as to face him, took his hand, clasp- 
ing it within her two. 

11 Now, tell me, dearest, how you feel?" 

" Weaker," he answers; ''notice my voice. 
Ah! sweetheart, I dreamed of you last night." 

A Last, Sad Goad-Bye. 51 

Breathing a long-drawn sigh, he continues: 
"We were to be married, when the black face of 
Van Horton came between ns; suddenly, Ran- 
dolph, indignant at his action, slew him like a 
dog; 'twas only a dream; but you were mine, 
even for the brief moment." 

More faintly, he adds: "Oh! Sadie, if I could 
only live to love you, to go back with you to the 
old hills of Rockbridge, where we first met, and 
where we first learned to love." 

Poor Sadie is speechless, and with tearful 
eyes and agonized heart, drinks in the words 
that may be the last upon earth. 

Feverishly, he continues : ' ' You will think of 
me, dear, and come to see the sod that covers a 
heart always true to one little Yankee worth all 
the treasures of earth, and the adoration of a 
worthier heart than mine ' ' — and for the first 
time he tries to raise up, but, grasping at the 
empty air, he groans most sadly. Only a shud- 
der, and all is still. 

The patient doctor, standing near, bids Sadie 
say farewell. Clasping her arm around his neck 
with all the reckless abandon of love lost, she 
kisses lips, cheek and brow, murmuring: "Grood- 
bye, love, good-bye! " until Marguerite, who has 
been a suffering but patient witness, leads her 

52 From Dust tO Ashes. 

Chapter IV. 

A furlough to accompany the dead, enables 
Randolph once more to visit his family, now liv- 
ing in the village of Gr , already mentioned; 

their home having been totally destroyed by tory 
robbers. Striking across the mountains, he turns 
his horses' head westward. The air is cool, and 
the May days are cheerful in the bright gar- 
ments of leaf and flowers of Spring, while the 
now unlimited birds sweep before and around 
him in notes made sweeter, no doubt, from a 
sense of greater security from fright and pursuit. 
At home on horseback, Randolph rides not hur- 
riedly, because next to self — his horse; they 
have ate, slept and suffered together; and now 
as it grows dark he approaches a neat country 
residence, and riding to the gate utters a loud 
hallo! and is answered by a female voice, bid- 
ding him to alight and come in, with a cordiality 
native to Old Virginia. 

Observing the lady's sleeves rolled up, and 
believing that his arrival had disturbed her, per- 
haps in the discharge of some domestic occupa- 
tion, Randolph courteously apologized for the 
inopportune interruption and begged forgive- 

Mr. O'Bowke. 53 

ness, when the lady smilingly told him that his 
anxiety was wholly unnecessary and uncalled 
for, as she was only doctoring one of u Lee's 
miserables," and if he wasn't too tired, that he 
could come in and help. 

Actuated more by curiosity than by any de- 
sire to help, Randolph followed the lady to a 
room, and there found the object of her atten- 
tion. A brawny, manly looking soldier, lay 
upon the bed, whose sheets, as white as snow, 
made a vivid contrast with the dirty, gray pants, 
the old ragged shirt and heelless socks of the 
man lying flat upon his face. 

A negro man stood near, holding a basin of 
water, and the soldier's shirt being split open in 
the back, exposed a large bandage pasted to his 
back, bloody and dirty from long use — this was 
the panorama exhibited Randolph upon entering 
the room. 

" Excuse me, Mr. Ruke," remarks the host- 
ess, " I have hastened back as soon as possible." 

" 'Tis all right, madam; but pardon me, 
O'Rourke is me name, and was the name of me 
father before me," and turning his face to one 
side and towards Randolph, after a cool survey, 
he adds, "Chancellorsville," emphasizing by re- 
versing his arm and sticking out his thumb to- 
wards the bloody bandage. 

As a cavalryman, in a charge under Fitz Lee, 

54 From Dust to Ashes. 

a fragment of shell had torn a large flesh wound 
in his back, which had secured him a furlough, 
and he was now on his way home, on Randolph's 
very route. 

The good woman, with much sponging suc- 
ceeded in removing the old bandage, and care- 
fully cleansing the wound and making the nec- 
essary applications, at last pronounced the words 
of satisfactory relief and accomplishment, 
" there, and don't you feel better?" 

"May the blessed angels keep you, lady," 
says O'Rourke. u Howly Mother! it is like a 
bird I'm afther failing, and if me shoes had 
better soles, I'd dance for your diversion an 
Irish jig that would astonish the queen's own 
cook; and spaking of the cook, I am not so 
tired as I am hungry. Master Bob is a foine 
fighter, but as a feeder, he can't draw mutton 
where there is no sheep, nor beef where there is 
no cattle. And, madam, have you a bit of a 
strap, for the cart that I rode up here upon 
jolted out the very blood and breath of me body, 
and me waistband has grown six inches, or me 
waist has shrunk seven, an' galluses I must 
have; and by the powers of Howly Mary me 
very teeth are loose entirely." 

This harangue held the lady in speechless 
wonder, and turning to one side, she threw open 
the door to the dining-room, displaying a well- 

O'JRourke was Hungry. 55 

served table, shining invitingly in the light of 
the lamps. 

Mr. O'Rourke's face was wreathed in smiles, 
and so intent was his eyes upon the table that, 
not heeding the doorstep, he came near sprawl- 
ing upon the floor. 

Strange to say, Randolph had stumbled upon 
an aunt of Marguerite, as he found out through 
Mr. O'Rourke's incessant talk of the late bat- 
tle, and the u murtherin scoundrel " who fired 
that bloody shell (needless to say the one that 
struck Mr. O'Rourke), and knowing the rela- 
tions existing between Randolph and her niece, 
also of Mayne and Sadie, at her request Ran- 
dolph told in detail of the last rites of sepulture 
to his deceased friend in the cemetery of his 
family in Lynchburg, of the trip with Margue- 
rite and Sadie to their home in Rockbridge, and 
his short visit, made so by the grief of one and 
the sympathy of the other. 

After a refreshing rest, on the next day, 
O'Rourke having secured an old cavalry Rosin- 
ante, Randolph bids his hostess a thankful adieu, 
in which O'Rourke joins, with many hopes of 
meeting again, without any lessening in the fut- 
ure of individual shadows, they once more 
journey west. 

O'Rourke proves to be an agreeable compan- 
ion and a fearless, dare-devil soldier. In his 

56 From Dust to Ashes. 

right hand he swings a sturdy hickory stick, 
which is a pointer for objects of his notice, a 
propeller for his steed, a sabre for the cavalry- 
man, and a shillalah for the Son of Erin. 

Mr. O'Rourke sings, too, but while his voice 
is strong, it is not sweet, and his tunes run from 
one line of ' L Lorena ' ' to another in ' i The old 
grey hoss come a-rushin' froo de wilderness." 

On one occasion the word "Wilderness" 
seemed to revive some recollections of Mr. 
O'Rourke, and he asks: "And, Cap., do you 
mind that bloody bush in The Wilderness? How 
in the devil the boys got through it wid their 
clothes on? The horse and meself were hung 
up, tripped up or down, and I was just enjoying 
meself when I felt the stroke in me back." 

"Don't repeat that any more, O'Rourke," 
says Randolph; "but tell me, did you leave the 
heels of your socks at Chancellorsville!" 

"No, begorra; but I left skin enough to patch 
them," he answers, laughing loudly and joyously 
at his own misfortunes. 

Many miles had been ridden, long hours had 
passed, and after a profound silence, interrupted 
only by the hoof -falls of the horses, O'Rourke 
slowly arouses from his seeming apathy, and as 
with the sudden birth of an unusual thought, 

"And, Captain, is it married you are?" 

Two Soldiers on the Road. 57 

"lam not so fortunate as yet," he answers. 

''But you have a gir-ral, I am after think- 
ing," retorts O'Rourke. 

''And why do you think so, pray?" asks Ran- 
dolph. "Do I sigh and sing love-songs in your 
presence, or talk in my sleep?" 

k *My experience," says O'Rourke, "about the 
sighing and singing is limited, but sure you must 
have a slight cross of the Yankee, whin you 
make a guess ; for in your slape last night you 
called 'Marguerite!' and unless she's your sister, 
bedad she must be your gir-rul ; ' ' and a laugh 
with the ring and force of true enjoyment fol- 
lows the unfolding of the burden of last night's 

Unable to control his feelings and his surprise, 
and blushing to his brows, Randolph tells him 
of his betrothed; and having exhausted his 
theme, has unexpectedly excited a feeling of 
sympathy in the breast of the sturdy soldier, 
which begets a desire upon the part of O'Rourke 
to pour into the ears of his superior his own 
marital troubles. 

"I have meself some expariance in the mat- 
rimonial market; Oi'm married," drawls 
O'Rourke, in a meditative mood. 

"Indeed; let me congratulate you — " 

"Sh — top, Captain, if yer plase," cries 
O'Rourke; "I've a wee bit to tell ye. I was on 

58 From Dust to Ashes. 

the Aist Tinnessee and Virginny railroad worruk- 
in' on a fill in a beautiful valley. Close to our 
shanty ould man Dobbins had as swate a little 
farrum as iver yer eyes was laid upon. Sure it 
was a divarsion to survey the primises; and 
afther buthermilk, as an excuse, I wint to the 
house, and making noise enough with the help 
of the flop-eared house dogs to scare a banshee, 
there came to the dure as swate a lass as iver 
blessed the eyes of man. I got the buthermilk 
and a fluttering under me jacket, and all night 
long I dreamed of buthermilk and the darling 
Kitty of the Dobbins' house. Howly Moses! I 
was struck! 

"My ould folks ran the boarding shanty on 
the worruk, close by, and with the hilp of the 
ould lady, who was a grate admirer of the farrum, 
if the gir-rnl was a Protestant, we were married, 
and a jolly jubilee it was. And we were gitting 
along pretty well up to the breaking out of the 
war. The ould man Dobbins and his wife were 
Union, Kitty and I Secesh. Sometimes the 
Yankees would overrun us, thin we were all 
Union ; thin the Confiderates would swarm upon 
us, in that avint we were all Confiderates; it was 
the tormint of our lives, but it kept pace in the 
family. But worse was to come, and the divil's 
own hand in it. Kitty she gits converted. As 
long as she was not converted into a nagur or a 

O i BowrWs Courtship. 59 

Yankee, I didn't moind it. Well, thin, up she 
goes and enlists in the Baptist Church, for the 
war, I suppose. 

"You know, and maybe you don't, but my 
folks are Roman Catholics, and I am naythur 
Catholic nor Baptist. 

"The ould wimmin began it, and the young 
ones jined in afther the ould ones got out of 
breath entirely. Sure it was religion, the praist 
and the parson they were rowing over. The 
very bones of me ache whin I think of it. 
There was Kitty's Ma and my Ma, and the rest 
of the wimmin, and sure it is, I heard more of 
infant baptism, immersion, conversion, subver- 
sion, falling from grace, of Howly Mary, Father 
Riley and Pastor Parker, until I was crazy wid 
the talk. I didn't know a divil of a word what 
version was best, whether Riley's or Parker's, or 
whither it was disgrace or afther grace they were 
at ; and for six long wakes it was the tormint of 
me life. 

"Divil of a word I iver said, or they would 
have, ivery one of thim, been upon the top of 
me back. But for the whisky hid in the straw 
they would have been the death of me. But it 
was no use; the battle over the infants, the wa- 
ter howly and unhowly, got worse and more of 
it, till me ould friend, Dennis McKelsey, came 
along going to the war, and mounting my horse, 
I jined him for Master Bob and the army." 

60 From Dust to Ashes. 

Having reached a commanding point in the 
road, Randolph interrupts further discourse of 
O'Rourke, by pointing out in the distance the 

steeples and housetops in the village of G , 

Tenn., now only a few miles distant. Soon 
Randolph is once more in the arms of his 
parents, and enjoying the verbal as well as culi- 
nary blessings of Mammy Rachel. 

From her he learns that Van Horton has sud- 
denly disappeared; "that woman" Miss F — is 
reported engaged or married to him, and still 
unceasingly annoys and persecutes his brother 
with slanderous innuendoes, even worries his in- 
nocent sister; and worse still, her maliciousness 
has extended to his mother and father ; for the 
the fiendish followers of Van Horton drove his 
father barefooted in a chill winter night, and 
tore down his very dwelling from over the heads 
of his wife and daughter, and deliberately fired 
upon his aged and defenceless mother. He 
learns also that his brother, Southey, came up 
with his command and retaliated upon several 
of the robber gang, and made things lively for 
awhile, and now, like wild animals at bay, they 
stand glaring at one another, and Grod only 
knows what next will turn up. 

Randolph hears enough to make him wish for 
peace, for the sake of the old folks at home; 
but deep down in his bosom there dwells a desire 
for vengeance. How often in this life does it 

A Special Providence. 61 

appear that a special Providence protects the 
designing wretch who is brutally reckless of 
every principle of right, of virtue and of honor ! 
Not many days elapse before Mr. O'Rourke 
and Rosinante appear, considerably mended and 
improved, and once more, adieu to home and 
family and on the road to camp and to duty. 

62 From Dust to Ashes. 

Chapter Y. 

After a long and tedious journey, our travelers 
reach Staunton, where O'Rourke disappears in 
search of his command, and Randolph eagerly 
seeks his own. 

All was bustle and confusion of men in every 
style of conveyance, as well as footmen, eagerly 
pressing up the Valley, for the Army of North- 
ern Virginia has crossed the Potomac, bent upon 
the invasion of Yankee soil, hitherto ignorant 
of the terrors of war. 

Fortunate in finding an ambulance, Randolph 
joined Major P , a gallant officer of the ar- 
tillery, and rapidly drove to overtake the ad- 
vancing army. 

Learning that Ewell had crossed the Potomac 
at Williamsport, they hurried to that point, and 
crossing, saw the first evidences of the advance 
righting in the many dead horses scattered upon 
the banks of the canal. 

After resting their tired horses, they pushed 
on to Chambersburg, and passed through the 
rear guard, being Pickett's brigade, and found 
Col. Stuart, an old V. M. I. professor, in com- 
mand of the place. Here, for the first time 

Randolph in Chambersbwrg . 63 

during the war, Randolph finds and feels him- 
self upon the enemy's soil. Soldiers in gray 
are scattered over the streets, merely chaffing 
some of the young ladies of the place, who, in 
the excess of their loyalty, display from their 
bosoms miniature specimens of the stars and 

Standing at the head of an alley, and in front 
of a small two-story brick edifice, over whose 
door was written bank, Randolph notes across 
the street some of these ladies so decorated 
passing through a jolly, loitering group of 
Hood's Texans, when a long-suffering Johnnie 
observes, rather in the manner of conferring 
knowledge for the good and benefit of the deco- 
rated, that his command had the unwholesome 
reputation of storming breastworks when flying 
the Federal flag. No answering reparte came 
from the addressed. 

No disorder occurred in the village ; no act of 
outrage or oppression occurred during Ran- 
dolph's stay of sixteen hours. 

He has, however, one remembrance of the 
head of that alley. Hearing footsteps descend- 
ing the stairway of that bank, he turned and 
feasted his eyes upon a handsome young lady, 
evidently the daughter of an official of the bank ; 
but oh! how short-lived his happiness, for with 
a toss of her fair, young head, and an ominous 

64 From Dust to Ashes. 

elevation of the lips and the tip of her nose, she 
turned for his view and edification a rear eleva- 
tion, which he admired, of course; but from the 
lady's pantomimic exhibition, he was left under 
a most disagreeable apprehension that it was 
either the new gray suit he wore, or the odor of 
the naughty joke across the street that caused 
the facial disturbance and the sudden disposition 
to " about face." 

There were no improper liberties taken, nor 
unjust indignities imposed upon the citizens, 
and Eandolph, in company with one of the best 
known and most gallant artillery officers, spent 
the night in the straw of a stable-loft upon this 
very same alley aforesaid. 

On the morning of July 1st he again enters 
the ambulance and starts northward, towards 
Carlisle, where they proposed to overtake the 
command of General Rodes. Going three miles, 
they ran into a skirmish between Confederate 
cavalry and Yankee home guards. They were 
thus turned back to Chambersburg, and drove 
thence rapidly on the national pike straight for 

About 1 o'clock p. m. they arrived at Cash- 
town, and here was found the headquarters train 
of Randolph's division. 

After greeting his old companions, he rode 
out to the main road, where Gettysburg, about 

Besting on Their Arms. 65 

five miles distant, could be distinctly seen ; the 
lines of the contending troops also were plainly 

The Federal lines were being driven rapidly 
back towards Gettysburg, and Randolph was 
again viewing the men of Rodes repeating the 
performance of Chancellorsville — chasing the 
Eleventh corps of Yankee Dutch hirelings, not 
only from the field, but to and through the 
streets of Gettysburg. 

Night fell, the Confederates victorious at every 
point; the Federals broken and disorganized, 
their trains driving to the rear, and stragglers 
without number going the same way. The men 
of Lee, worn out by long marches, laid down 
upon their arms and slept. 

All night long fresh Federal troops were ar- 
riving, and those who had been running turned 
back when it was discovered that none pursued. 

When morning dawned, the two armies had 
about mustered their strength, and were busily 
engaged in disposing of batteries and brigades 
in designated positions. 

The Confederates were disposed as follows: 
Ewell's line in and through Gettysburg, extend- 
ing east and west and facing south; A. P. Hill 
on his right, his line running north and south 
on Seminary Ridge and parallel to Willoughby 
Run and facing east, with Longstreet on his 

66 From Dust to Ashes. 

right on the same line, and facing the same 

Round Top Mountain, on Longstreet's ex- 
treme right, rose like a huge sentinel guarding 
the Federal left flank, while the spurs and ridges 
trending off: to the north of it afforded unrivalled 
positions for the use of artillery. 

The puffs of smoke rising at intervals along 
the line of hills as the Federal batteries fired 
upon such portions of our line as became ex- 
posed to view, clearly showed that these advan- 
tages had not been neglected. 

The thick woods, which in great part covered 
the sides of Round Top and the adjacent hills, 
concealed from view the rugged nature of the 
ground, which increased four-fold the difficulties 
of the attack. 

Little Round Top was in front of Longstreet's 
center, and Devil's Den about a quarter of a 
mile nearer to him, and about midway between 
Big and Little Round Top. 

About 5 o'clock p. m., Longstreet's right 
swept forward, and after desperate fighting car- 
ried these points — desperate hand-to-hand fight- 
ing being displayed on both sides. At the same 
time a portion of E well's corps charged the Fed- 
eral forces before the cemetery, driving them off 
and capturing their guns, and even reaching 
Evergreen cemetery, the stronghold of the en- 

Heavy Cannonading. 67 

emy's right; but for want of co-operation the 
movement failed, as did Longstreet's, both fail- 
ures being the result more from lack of sufficient 
force. Nevertheless, night found the advantage 
accruing to Lee's army, with Ewell in statu quo, 
and Longstreet and Hill closed up on the Fed- 
eral left. Another night to add to a position 
naturally strong, to add to their force and re- 
plenish their munitions of war, and Lee many 
miles from his base of supplies and with nearly 
exhausted caissons. 

But there was one thing which could be truly 
said without boasting — that the Army of North- 
ern Virginia knew how to fight and die, but they 
knew not what it was to be whipped. 

The next day, the 3d of July, dawned brightly. 
A spirit of quietude pervaded both armies, until 
about the hour of 2 p. m., Randolph, being upon 
the crest of Seminary Ridge, about two or three 
hundred yards south of the National pike, heard 
two heavy guns fired in quick succession. In a 
moment there responds a crash of artillery, the 
brazen voice of one hundred and fifty pieces, 
answered promptly by as many more, together 
with the hurtling of shot and shell, created a vis- 
ion of awe-inspiring grandeur seen but seldom 
in a lifetime, and once seen never forgotten. 

In a twinkling the heavens are obscured; a 
black cloud hangs overhead, and looking up, 

D A— 5 

68 From Dust to Ashes. 

there flashes here and there in the sulphurous 
canopy the lurid fire of varied shapes and sizes, 
but looking straight to the front and across the 
valley, the flames seem to rush from the muzzles 
of the field-pieces many feet in length. 

In the midst of the infernal din, Randolph's 
ear catches the music of a full brass band, which 
he is told is at Lee's headquarters, but whose 
sweet tones make him for a moment forget the 
terrible work of death in front. 

But, "Look! look!!" says one, and with a 
fearful explosion, a cloud of white-looking smoke 
arises over the cemetery, "there goes a caisson! " 
In a different direction the same thing occurs; 
again a voice cries, "There goes another !'' and 
still the carnival of death goes on. Poor horses! 
Poor dumb creatures! Subservient to the use 
and brutality of man, their destruction that day 
was fearful; in one instance alone, as many as 
eighty being killed in a battery of eighty-four. 

At last the cannonading ceases as suddenly as 
it begun, and there came the climax of the war. 

Acting under the orders of Lee, Longstreet 
gives the order to Pickett to charge, and with 
his brave Virginians, he places himself at their 
head, and jauntily as on dress parade he moves 
his men over the crest and descends the slope 
with the firmness, coolness and decision of a pa- 
rade. The enemy in their astonishment stand 

Pickett'' s Charge. 69 

transfixed, but for a moment, when admonished 
Iby a sense of self-preservation, every available 
Federal gun is trained upon his devoted band. 
Fire front, both flanks, plunging, and cross are 
no incentive to hasten or to unnerve those gal- 
lant heroes; but steadily closing up, they press 
forward with a determined, soldierly step, their 
faces beaming with hope. 

Hundreds of crimson battle-flags fluttered in 
the breeze ; the long lines of troops with bright 
arms flashing like mirrors in the snnlight were 
pressing forward toward the enemy. 

Here was all the " pride and pomp and cir- 
cumstance of glorious war," that has captured 
and fired the soiil of man in all ages, and by its 
dread illusions turned his finer attributes into 
heartless cruelties, and made the grim horrors 
of this murderous art a merry-making allied only 
to those of devils incarnate. 

Now, a point is reached where the rush is to 
be made ; the lines are closed up and massed for 
the plunge. Here Kemper fell; then came the 
dash, and with it a clash of steel and crash of 
musketry in the very faces of the opposing sides. 
Now falls the gallant Graraett-, and with the 
thrilling yell of the charging Confederates the 
flag of the Confederacy is plantad upon the 
works of the enemy. Now it is that brave 
Armistead falls, severely wounded; and the 

70 From Bust to Ashes. 

wavering divisions supporting, becoming panic- 
stricken, broke to the rear. Instantly the Fed- 
erals poured their hosts upon Pickett, fairly 
enveloping him, and crushing him with the 
weight of numbers. 

The Virginians make a brave effort with cold 
steel, but are met with a concentrated fire in 
front and on both flanks. Still charging, never 
dismayed, under this fire they seem to melt 
away. They have done all that men could do, 
and now the remnant returns, but with their 
faces to the foe, repulsed but not whipped. 
Slowly they returned, broken-hearted at their 
loss and failure, but covered with a halo of glory 
that will be with them forever. 

The Federal pursuit was but a skirmish line, 
which fell back before a few discharges of grape 
and shell. 

And thus the curtain dropped upon Gettys- 
burg. Night fell upon thousands of dead and 
dying, and the fate of the Confederacy was 
sealed forever. 

Grrim death reaped from the ranks of the 
alumni of the Virginia Military Institute a har- 
vest, ripe in all the wealth of glorious record and 
fruitful example. 

Upon this fatal field, and upon an area of al- 
most insignificant size, lay the forms of five ex- 
cadets — Stuart, Patton, Jas. Allen, R. C. Allen, 

Night After the Battle. 71 

Williams and Edmonds, all dead upon the field 
of battle, a mute attestation of their heroism 
and their devotion to their country and its 

The stars looked down upon the pale, upturned 
faces of many a loved form, and Randolph, with 
"but a slight wound, came out of camp with a 
lantern, in search of a missing friend, accom- 
panied by four privates, and passing through 
the now famous peach orchard, goes directly to 
the rock- riven slaughter pen of the Devil's Den, 
meeting with men of both armies engaged upon 
similar errands. 

In the vain search for his friend his attention 
is attracted to the indistinct voices of men be- 
hind a huge bowlder, and stumbling over the 
stones and picking his way among the dead, he 
comes face to face with the ubiquitous Van 
Horton, holding in his arms the limp form of a 
man, whose feeble voice and long, white locks 
told of suffering old age. The flickering light 
of the lantern revealed a look of mutual recog- 

"It is an old friend," says Van Horton, "not 
fatally hurt, but painfully so." 

Reminded of the gray locks at home, Ran- 
dolph kneels by the side of the stricken man, 
and offers to his lips his own canteen. A 
draught and a sigh, and the unfortunate old man 

72 From Dust to Ashes. 

thanks him in the language and manner of a 
cultivated gentleman, and, earnestly scanning 
Randolph's face, requested his address. 

Upon receiving it, with his gaze still riveted 
upon him, "What?" he says, "Phil Randolph 
of Virginia ? ' ' 

More surprised than he, Randolph takes his 
extended right hand, and in mute astonishment 
listens to a revelation as painful as it was sur- 

"Blessings upon you," said the wounded man, 
"and now that I am in the hands of one whose 
name is a household one with me, please, Capt. 
Van Horton, secure my removal, or find Major 
Carday, who is near, that I may receive medical 
attention. I am safe with Capt. Randolph." 

Van Horton is soon lost in the gloom, and the 
stranger, continuing, says: "I am the father of 
Sadie Carday, and came to the front oppressed 
with the fear of a mishap to my only son, and 
seeing the troops of Pickett falling back, I 
thought that pursuit would naturally follow; 
but I found our men in confusion, having suf- 
fered severely in the melee, when all at once 
your batteries opened to cover the retrograde 
movement, and a stray piece of shell struck me 
here," placing his hand just below his right 

"I like not this Van Horton," said Mr. Car- 

U A Spy, I Presume" 73 

clay, "but he appeared just in the nick of time, 
skilfully bandaged my wound — no one paying 
any attention to me on account of my citizen's 
attire. What brought him here, I know not, be- 
ing unattached, and, like myself, iu citizen's 

"A spy, I presume," replied Randolph, "as 
his forte lies in that direction ; and that your 
estimate of the man is correct, allow me to 
say from my own knowledge that he is a 
scoundrel, and a robber in heart and in fact. 
But tell me, is any member of your family near 
you, besides your son?" 

"None," he answered. "My daughter is now 
a guest of Miss Marguerite Darlington." 

Thus patiently they awaited, until at last the 
sound of footsteps was borne to their ears, and 
a swinging light announced the looked-for as- 

With rapid steps Major Carday approaches, 
and casually nodding to Randolph, laments his 
father's unnecessary exposure, and his unfort- 
unate condition. Being introduced, he in a 
most cordial manner grasps Randolph's hand 
and with a cheery "Glad to meet you, Captain. 
Please give us a lift to the ambulance close by, 
and we will talk afterwards." 

The old man being snugly stowed away, the 
Major turns to Randolph, and says: 

74 From Dust to Ashes. 

"Now let me thank you; you are what Sadie 
says, 'the soul of honor,' and 'one of the best 
fellows on earth,' " and drawing himself up to 
his full height, fully six feet, with his bright 
face, dark hair and eyes, just the opposite of his 
sister, he appears as one who meant what he 
said and was happy to say it. 

With thanks Randolph acknowledged the com- 
pliment, and tells him of his late interview with 
Van Horton; about his sister's loss, of the many 
noble traits of the heart and of the character, 
and of the gallantry, and last, of the love and 
devotion of poor Adjutant Mayne for the sweet 
sister now with Marguerite. 

To all Major Carday listens with a sad and 
thoughtful brow ; now turning his face he meets 
the gaze of Van Horton, and as quick as a flash 
of lightning the tell-tale frown of a furious hate 
mantles his face. Randolph notes the recognition 
now for the first time of the bearer of the wounded 
man's message. The Federal major, mindful of 
his obligation, with becoming courtesy, thanks 
Van Horton for his kindness to his father. 

Van Horton, with the sang froid of an old 
campaigner remarks, "I am not insensible for 
the sufferings of my fellow-man, particularly of 
an old friend (sarcastically), whose courteous 
treatment under his own roof has so endeared 
him to my heart." 

Van Horton de Trop. 75 

"This is neither the place nor time to renew 
an acquaintance not agreeable," says Major 
Carday, "and I beg to bid you good-night, Mr. 
Yan Horton." 

"G-ood-night," answers the wretch, now fairly 
aroused, backing from them and doffing his cap 
in mock humility. "I shall be pleased to carry 
for your friend any message of love or condo- 
lence, for I shall see your good people soon, 
Captain Randolph, whom I have no doubt await 
with anxiety my happy arrival — my sweet in- 
tended, Miss F , so devotedly loves your 

brother and his pretty, little, pet sister." 

Stung almost to madness, the Federal major 
lays his hand upon his pistol, but remembering 
the situation, calls loudly for the sergeant of the 
guard, the picket line being in close proximity, 
but before a search is well begun, Van Horton 
has disappeared in the darkness. 

After exchanging many regrets concerning 
the phases of the war, the separation of friends, 
the conflict of brother against brother, the deso- 
lation of homes, and the ruthless destruction of 
life and property, and mutually expressing the 
desire of an early meeting under the shadow of 
the white wings of peace, each returns to his re- 
spective camp, and is soon lost in sleep. 

76 From Dust to Ashes. 

Chapter VI. 

'Twas midnight of the 4th day of July, 1864, 
when Randolph (who had lost his horse), seated 
in a captured Concord coach, which was loaded 
with delectable supplies, the fruits of the visit 
to Pennsylvania, was driven southward along 
the Seminary ridge in the direction of Fairfield, 
bound for Williamsport, Md. Here the pio- 
neer troops were engaged, with the most primi- 
tive tools, in constructing the pontoons to cross 
the bulk of the Army of Northern Virginia. 
These boats were launched and floated down the 
Potomac to Falling Waters, a crossing but a 
few miles below Williamsport, where Lee crossed 
his trains, artillery and his troops in safety to 
the south bank. 

Remaining late with Carter's Artillery, which 
held the bluff to defend the crossing, Randolph 
lost his tent, his supper and his reckoning in the 
dense cedars, and slept under the eves of a tent 
near by, suffering the miseries of a drenching 
rain, and the eternal drip, drip, drip of the tent 
till the dawn of day, when, to his disgust, the 
familiar voice of his own messmate told him 

Off for Thornton's Gap. 77 

that he had slept on the wrong side of his own 

The troops again took up their line of march, 
and their steady tramp soon brought them in 
sight of the gallant and long-suffering Town of 
Winchester; thence to Manassas Gap to "bag a 
Yankee brigade," which proved too big for the 
bag, as it turned out. The brigade consisted of 
two army corps, requiring a night tramp down 
by Front Royal, and a safe space of eight miles 
away by the brawling river to rest the weary and 
footsore men. 

It was about four o'clock on the following 
day, when the division wheeled to the left of the 
road to go into camp, and Randolph was not yet 
dismounted, when an order was received for him 
to take the Pioneer corps to Thornton's Gap, a 
distance of some five miles, to bridge a stream 
at that place. That five miles added so unex- 
pectedly to the march just finished, seemed to 
grow in length as the worn-out men straggled 

But the point was duly reached, and orders 
were obeyed, but not before Randolph measured 
the depth of the quicksand with his horse, and 
gained an experience of navigating an animal on 
fence-rails from quicksand to terra fir m a. 

The labor done, Randolph lost no time to gain 
access to the hospitable mansion of Mrs. Thorn- 

78 From Dust to Ashes. 

ton, near by, and was welcomed by old friends 
and new, of both sexes. 

The heart swells with the grateful remem- 
brance of the good cheer, the cordial welcome of 
the sweet-faced matron, the good Old Virginia 
mother and grandmother, with a voice that 
cheered, and a smile that meant welcome, and a 
dignity and firmness with sweetness that was the 
stay of Jackson's grip upon the Valley and the 
bolster of the wearied soldiers' courage. 

Oftimes memory has lingered over the recol- 
lections of that visit, bringing thoughts, laden 
with prayers and blessings, for the good Old Vir- 
ginia matron who brought "home" to a soldier's 
heart, short though it was. Here Randolph en- 
countered Colonel Morton Marye, who had left 
a leg upon the field of battle, and who was anx- 
iously awaiting the arrival of General Ewell, 
who likewise had lost a leg. 

The meeting of the two was of some import- 
ance, as Ewell' s peg was too long and Marye's 
too short, and an exchange of pegs was in con- 
templation; and we are happy to add was con- 
summated with mutual satisfaction. 

It is needless to say that, though Randolph 
had an eminent regard for General Ewell, it was 
not supposed that inferior officers on duty were 
recreating in brick mansions, eating chicken, 
listening to the sweet tones of a piano, drawn 

Bed Tape Endorsed. 79 

out by the nimble fingers of a charming lady, 
and at the hour of retiring, to eschew tattoo and 
taps and luxuriate in a feather-bed. A sorrow- 
ful finale is to be recorded, and one indeed 
divested entirely of digDity, for the General, long 
expected, only put in an appearance m the we 
small hours of the night, and as he entered the 
front door our friend, Randolph, went out hastily 
at the back door. At that time the General could 
"cuss," and it was from a fear of extorting that 
sort of an effort which caused the irregular exit, 
although in later years that habit was but a rec- 
ollection of the past. 

After a tedious march, the division arrived at 
Orange Court House, and here Randolph received 
orders for detailed duty, and for fuller directions 
to report at Richmond. 

A government is no government without red 
tape, and Randolph cared not how long they 
wound and unwound their tape, so long as his 
money held out ; for quartered at the old Spots- 
wood, he was happy in the company of old 
friends. There were present also many old ex- 
cadets of every official grade, all hob-nobbing 
and messing at the same table, and forgetful of 
all trials and dangers — past, present and future. 

Donning his best suit, Randolph seeks No. — 
Franklin street, where a cousin of Marguerite 
lived when last he visited Richmond before the 

80 From Bust to Ashes. 

war. Remembering vividly, too, how he took 
the wrong direction homeward, and in the wee 
sma' hours anent the twal, was turned in the 
way of home and happiness from the precincts 
of Butchertown, by a kind and gentlemanly 

Answering the door-bell, he was told that Miss 
Signor was at home, and was shown into the 
parlor, now carpetless ; the carpeting doing duty 
now and for many days past as soldiers' blankets. 
Soon she entered, with the ease and grace which 
was a part of the woman. Gentle, pretty and 
intellectual, she was a model of grace, and of all 
the virtues that charm the heart, and exalt while 
they charm. 

Advancing with extended hand, "You are 
welcome, sir," she said, "as all soldiers are who 
wear the gray. But tell me, whom have I the 
honor of addressing?" 

Laughing, Randolph is in the act of answer- 
ing, when she fairly screams: "Oh! Oh! you 
good-for-nothing scamp ; you deserter, you fraud, 
you everything that is naughty, where have you 
been? What a great, long moustache you do 
sport, and it was but yesterday the beardless 
cadet, lost in revery of his true love, and gazing 
at the wrong star, lost his reckoning in the 
lighted streets of Richmond," and ceases only 
in a paroxysm of uncontrolled laughter. 

Fie for Shame. 81 

Randolph meekly catches the contagion and 
joins heartily in enjoying the ludicrous picture. 

"Now, Berta," pleads Randolph, "will you 
never learn to respect the tenderness of my poor 
heart? Think how I have suffered! Been up 
in Yankeedom, keeping the whole nation from 
visiting you and the seat of the Confederate gov- 
ernment, and now you chaff me. Fie, for 
shame ! ' ' 

"A truce it is," she answered; "but tell me, 
what did you bring from the raid?" 

"First of all, my dear lady, these beautiful 
high-topped boots; a handsome and gallant cav- 
alry officer had no further use for them in the 
place he was journeying to; a man of our Pio- 
neer corps borrowed them, and being unable to 
get a No. 9 foot into a No. 7 boot, Secretary 
Trenholm's scrip made them mine." 

"And is that all?" she asked. 

"Oh, no," answered Randolph; "scores of 
wagons went into Pennsylvania loaded with 
hungry, footsore and barefooted men. Our 
wagons returned loaded with food for man and 
beast, and clothing, and our men shod to a man. 
As for our staff, we have flour, cut-loaf sugar, 
tea, coffee, apple butter, and, please don't faint ! 
a whole barrel of whisky. Ah! your lips grow 
moist! " 

"At least, not for the whisky," she answers, 

82 From Dust to Ashes. 

"but men exposed, I suppose, must needs have 
it, and it must be so refreshing to the poor 
wounded; but I must say that our okra and 
sweet-potato coffee, when compared to the 
simon-pure, would be more apt to bring water 
to the eyes than to the lips." 

Mindful of the object of his visit, Randolph 

"Tell me of your sweet little coz, Marguerite. 
I will share my choicest rations with you if yeu 
will tell me 'heaps' of my little sweetheart." 

' ' What a valiant lobbyman in the councils of 
Cupid!" says Berta. "You would bribe me; 

you judge me as Fannie P judged yourself 

when a cadet — ' that the only way to reach your 
heart was by your mouth.' However, I have 
news, and good news. Would a surprise hurt 
you, or are you too well guarded! " 

"Oh! no," answers Randolph ; "Cupid flies, 
and the little fellow has a reckless way of flying 
his darts ; videttes would be useless, and I am 
too old a soldier to be frightened. On with the 
surprise, and earn your bribe." 

"Then, let me tell you," says Berta; "Mar- 
guerite is here in Richmond, and Sadie with 
her. Marguerite's brother Charlie is in the 
hospital, wounded in one of the many fights of 
the Stonewall brigade, and the girls are down 
with him now, with what delicacies we could 

The Introduction. 83 

rake and scrape together — some bought, some 
begged and some contributed, and the sum of 
all not much to brag of. ' ' 

More than satisfied with the success of his 
visit, Randolph, in company with Berta, ap- 
proached the hall door, when, as if by magic, 
the door flies open, and the ladies enter, Mar- 
guerite in advance. Berta quickly, in jest, in- 
troduces ''Miss Darliugton — Captain Price," and 
quick as thought Randolph puts his arms around 
the little lady, and says: " Yes, yours without 
price, my little one!" 

''Oh, how you frightened me!" answers the 
willing captive, and the upturned lamp shows a 
lovely face, radiantly beautiful, with crimsoned 
cheeks and sparkling eyes, shaded by hair as 
black as midnight, and lips that to Randolph 
seemed to be lost in the luscious fragrance of 
their sweetness. 

For a time questions of no importance to the 
reader are made and answered, with astonishing 
rapidity, till the hour of 12 calls for the linger- 
ing ' ' Good-night ! ' ' 

'Tis late and the city is wrapt in sleep, when 
Randolph reaches the Spotswood, where he 
meets his old fellow-cadet, Colonel Slaughter, 
of the — th Virginia, and together they find a 
banker, a boyhood friend, and together enjoy 
a supper ' ' fit for the gods, ' ' the memory of which 

84 From Dust to Ashes. 

is green and glorious of to-day; but whose mixt- 
ure of every variety of stimulants, a vivid mem- 
ory long remembering, involuntarily causes the 
hand to feel the head for an aching recollection 
of that joyous event. 

Their stomachs were empty, their appetites 
good, and delicacies never saw during the war; 
the temptation was great, and though the Colo- 
nel badly limped from the effects of a bullet 
through the thigh, they bore their burden like 
men, and safely laid their forms, increased by 
many pounds avoirdupois, upon their hotel 
beds, and dreamed of feasting, and arousing 
early in search of the nearest cut to the water 

Breakfast next morning is hastily dispatched, 
and Randolph looking "tired," but armed with 
his promised bribe, is soon ushered into the par- 
lor, and anxiously awaits the ladies. 

As the group file in, Marguerite's quick glance 
betokens the knowledge of a night of short 
rest, but condones the offense, because has not 
the offender just passed .through the valley of 
starvation and the shadow of death! Surely 
one wagon train could not last always. 

In this group now seated around Randolph, 
happiness reigns supreme; quick wit and bright 
repartee gladdens each heart, and shortens time, 
that even the sombre dress and sad face of 

"Died of a VP 85 

Sadie cannot subdue, for in 1864 death was a 
familiar event, and had knocked or was knock- 
ing at the door of thousands of Virginia homes. 

Belles, beaux, marriages, the war, the army, 
the conduct of the officials, "Examiner" com- 
ments, all were discussed, till a hush came from 
the ringing of the front door-bell, and almost 
immediately, two officers of the Artillery and 
Engineer Corps, respectively, entered, and were 
introduced as Captain Barton and Lieutenant 
Rumford ; when the ladies, almost in a chorus 
in their eagerness to secure the aid of the new 
arrivals in denouncing the remark which Ran- 
dolph had let fall just before their arrival, that 
he was in sympathy with the "Examiner," then 
published in Richmond. Miss Berta claiming a 
* ' court-marshal " ; " charge, treason " ; " speci- 
fications, to be forthcoming." 

Captain Barton claimed ignorance of the 
whole matter, to which Miss Berta answers: 

"Have you not seen Editor John M. Dan- 
iels' editorial saying, 'That if the Confederacy 
fell, there should be inscribed upon its tomb- 
stone, 'Died of a V,' ' referring to the angle 
formed by Jeff Davis' Mississippi troops at 
Buena Vista!" 

"Captain Randolph hears the General Order," 
says Lieutenant Rumford, "let the court be 

86 From Dust to Ashes. 

"Certainly," answers Randolph, "the court 
does not propose to deny me the right of 
thought, and of expression, and most assuredly 
I have committed no crime." 

Quickly Marguerite speaks in defence of her 
lover, and says : ' l Perhaps fawning now may 
lead to preferment, and though silence is golden, 
it may lead to oppression or defeat, mayhap to 

"Well and bravely spoken, my guardian an- 
gel," says Randolph, "and now let me divest 
your minds of one error, and recall to your 
minds a few facts of history." 

"The assumption of the form of the letter V 
was not the outcome of the ingenuity of Col- 
onel Davis, but simply the occupying with his 
lines the natural crest and conformation of the 
hill commanding the intervening valley. Fur- 
thermore, in looking over the field of our disas- 
ters, do you not perceive the direct origin of 
Daniels' ominous words! Look at Price, the 
idol of his army, beheaded at Richmond, and 
succeeded by Pemberton whom none knew, nor 
wanted. Behold the result! a retreat from 
Holly Springs to Vicksburg — locked up, and 
caught like a rat in a trap, not counting the 
bloody blunder of Big Black River. See again 
Joe Johnston wearing out the attacking army in 
detail by leading him away from his base of 

Retrospection. 87 

supplies, choosing his own ground, pounding 
him well, and cutting his communication off 
from his base of supplies; leaves him to repair 
damages, fix up and inarch again to receive the 
same dose. Yet, at Richmond, his head falls 
in the imperial basket, and a gallant officer not 
equal to the emergency, with the executive pre- 
diction, that he was one to 'strike a manly 
blow,' steps in, with a new programme, and 
with a campaign marked only by the carless- 
ness or stupidity of allowing a whole army to 
pass near his sleeping troops, and with the 
bloody defeat of Franklin, nothing else is to be 

With flashing eyes he asks: "Do you see the 
terrible contrast with the ' manly blows ' struck 
at Resaea, Kennesaw, Altoona, and upon every 
hill-top on the line of Johnston's retreat?" 

A pause, and Randolph turns to Berta, and 
says: "I really think that I will have you put 
in the stocks, and to further punish you, when 
I get married, I shan't call you cousin." 

"Wait, Captain," she answers, "till that time 
arrives; 'there is many a slip, etc., etc' But 
let us drop such questions and talk of our own 
dear selves." 

And now the usual chaff of young people, 
bent upon enjoying the brief moments of relief 
from camp, soon dissipates the hours, and the 

88 From Dust to Ashes. 

young men rise to leave, and Randolph last, for 
the words spoken to Marguerite are not many, 
but all of love and devotion — for the partings of 
those days were sometimes good-byes forever. 
The three young men slowly sauntered to- 
wards the Capitol grounds, separating there for 
their respective hotels or quarters, and upon the 
arrival of Randolph at his room, he found a 
curt note scrawled upon a strip of paper: 

"Waited here two hours to deliver orders; back at ft 
a. m. to-morrow." "Adams, Orderly.'''' 

This ended his revery, and he retired; the 
old negro refrains which he had heard so often 
on the Mississippi steamers ringing in his ears, 
"Good-bye, my lover, good-bye." 

An Old Friend. 89 

Chapter VII. 

Promptly Orderly Adams appears with his offi- 
cial missive, and saluting, retires to the sacred 
precincts of his bomb-proof post in depart- 
ment, and Randolph is left to read his orders. 
Being of a private nature and for the good of 
the service, and totally irrelevant to the issues 
herein, we simply state that the duty assigned 
was arduous, dangerous, and requiring nerve 
and good judgment to perform with safety and 
satisfaction . 

Armed with an order to draw for a coadjutor, 
Randolph thought of none more worthy or 
acceptable than his former fellow - traveler, 
now Sergeant O'Rourke — and as future events 
showed, none better pleased to serve, or better 
able to fulfill the duties required. 

Bidding an affectionate adieu to the angels on 
Franklin street, and draining a parting cup with 
his friend and companion of the memorable 

feast, Colonel S , about 8 o'clock a. m., upon 

a lovely day, the two soldiers were seated on 
board the cars en route to their destination, via 
Lynchburg, and to a point some forty miles 

90 From Bust to Ashes. 

Arriving: late at night, our travelers disembark 
on the south side of the road, and, attracted by 
a glimmering light some distance away, proceed 
thither, guided, as it were, by this star of hope. 
In the days of his boyhood Randolph had been 
a guest at the hospitable mansion now sought, 
and whose venerable, though eccentric, host was 
his father's steadfast friend; but time had erased 
the map which memory should have retained, 
and they stumbled along as though perfect 
strangers in a strange land. Anchoring at the 
gate, and clinging thereto with the energy of 
wrecked mariners, superinduced rather by the 
expected appearance of some wicked and vicious 
quadruped of the genus canine, they venture a 
timorous ' ' Hello ! ' ' which brings a watchful 
man-servant to the door, who bids them enter. 

Here was the enjoyment of a blissful rest, and 
rising early, Randolph, standing upon the front 
porch, drinks in once again, and perhaps for the 
last time, the lovely scenery from as lovely a home 
as is found in any valley of Virginia. The house 
is situated upon the very crown of a gentle eleva- 
tion, and is built of brick masonry, being one- 
story, with attic lighted with dormer windows ; 
of a rambling style, but with large, airy rooms 
and a spacious hall, both front and rear, sup- 
plied with broad verandahs, whose columns were 
entwined with running vines and climbing roses. 

The Peaks of Otter. 91 

In the yard, and to the right of the mansion, 
was the office, a two-room building, used when 
pressed. Between the two houses was a large 
granite block, about two feet deep, two feet wide 
and six feet long, having two basins chiselled 
therein, for the accommodation of those who de- 
sired to bathe their face and hands in the waters 
of a lovely spring hard by. 

The host, a model farmer, as he was a model 
man, of massive build and sunny face, with long, 
flowing locks, now tinged with the frosts of more 
than seventy years, was nevertheless very demo- 
cratic in his manner of dress. 

Eandolph gazed in silent admiradon, and with 
thoughts of inexpressible happiness, at the beau- 
tiful landscape spread out before him. Once 
again he sees the familiar friend of his child- 
hood, the Peaks of Otter, rising like a giant in 
strength and grandeur upon the right ; the val- 
ley in front, with its varied verdure of corn, oats, 
tobacco, and its pasture of lowing kine and 
bleating sheep; and far beyond, in the distance, 
the long sweep of deep blue of the ridge of that 
name, bluer by contrast with the azure of the 

All this was much enjoyed, until his revery 
was abruptly broken by a friendly (if it was 
heavy) hand that fell upon his shoulder, and 
looking up, the kindly gaze of his old friend 

92 From Bust to Ashes. 

was met with the demand, "And where did you 
come from!" 

The answer was easy, and with that easy grace 
which the old man, with even his osnaburg 
shirt and red bandana handkerchief swung 
around his neck, could not diminish. With such 
grace and welcome, he takes Randolph by the 
arm and leads him into the sitting-room, where 
a massive sideboard of mahogany is graced by 
elegant cut-glass decanters, all, need we say, 
well filled. Sugar, in meager quantity, was 
there, and on account of its rarity sparingly 
used. A glass of freshly gathered mint stood 
convenient for use. 

Bidding his guest to partake, the good old 
man in an incessant strain talks of the war, his 
troubles, and of old times, until stopped by the 
draining cup; when by many coughs and much 
clearing of the throat, Randolph is made very 
positively and painfully aware of the fact that 
Sergeant O'Rourke is present and "not in it," 
but evidently desirous of joining in the libation. 

The old Captain, for such he has been called 
for these many years, sees the object of commis- 
eration, and, without further to do, cries, "Come, 
come, sir! and join us;^we are only ahead; you 
are on time, and can catch up by adding to the 

"I will, and thank ye," says the Sergeant, 

Mr. O'Bourke Imhibes. 93 

and, evidently mindful of the words of his host, 
he fills his glass to the brim, and, bowing with 
becoming gravity, he swallowed the contents 
without drawing a breath, and wiping his mouth 
with the back of his hand, cleared his throat and 
said: "Bether than the stuff you were afther 
bringin' back from Carlisle barracks, Captain." 

"You have drank some of the Captain's ten- 
year-old apple brandy, O'Rourke," answered 

"The saints be praised! The blessid apple 
brought trouble and misery enough to auld 
Adam, and busted up the family circle entirely, 
but sure Captain the juice of apples loike that 
would make a paradise anywhere without Adam 
in it. Sure I fale it in the botham of me 

It is not long before the household are seated 
at breakfast, and to the almost utter demorali- 
zation of Randolph, a young Lieutenant S , 

and an old ex-cadet, drops in, who is spending 
a sick leave, having enlisted in Mobile, Ala., 
while engaged in the noble and exalted position 
of sampling cotton in that port. 

For the poor old devastated Virginia of that 
period, the table partook of a fascinating repast ; 
and the event seemed to culminate in a meeting 
of friends, whose mutual records and reminis- 
cences, when brightened and enlivened and 

94 From Dust to Ashes. 

brought back to memory, would make the old 
walls resound to the peals of joyous laughter. 
All of a sudden this was estopped by the dispo- 
sition of our high-stepping and fancy lieutenant, 
actuated by the push and energy of those we fear 
as friends, and dread not as enemies. His de- 
sire was to speak, and none knew it better than 
poor Randolph, and none dreaded it more. 
Turning his adolescent figure to face our honest 
old host, he pertly says: 

"Captain, how many bushels of wheat do you 
raise? 77 

Answer — ' l Five thousand . 7 ' 

Question — "How many of corn! 77 

"Eight thousand. 77 

He asks of horses, cattle and sheep, and pa- 
tiently the old man answers this catechism ; 
whereupon this puerile ghost of a soldier, not 
knowing the ground whereon he treads, says in 
a spirit of advisement: 

"'Cotton is King, 7 Captain; you should sell 
out and go south, and raise cotton, sir. 77 

Never will I forget the look of mingled disgust 
and contempt which absolutely paled the old 
Captain 7 s face (ordinarily red), as he turned 
upon the young man with the expression : 

"D — n you and cotton, too! I wouldn't -live 
out of sight of the Peaks of Otter for all the 
cotton states of the Southern Confederacy. 

O'Bourke is "Dry." 95 

'Cotton!' 'Cotton! 777 And with a sniff and a 
snort, lie attacked his plate with renewed energy. 

Needless to say, noue enjoyed the rebuff more 
than Randolph, whose experience in the cotton 
region taught him the truth of the old man's 
words, and he felt that it was merited rebuke to 
the recreant fealty of a stupid Virginian. 

It becomes necessary here to purchase horses 
if possible, and as the old Captain in his patri- 
otic enthusiasm has disposed to the Confederate 
government all of his available stock, it was de- 
cided that Randolph aud the old Captain should 
ride some six miles across the country westwardly, 
to secure the necessary mount, while O'Rourke 
should hold the office down during their absence ; 
a servant also being sent to beat about among 
the immediate neighbors for horses, which, if 
sent, were to be examined and valued by Ser- 
geant 7 Rourke, now the supreme officer in com- 

For at least an hour after Randolph's depart- 
ure, our good Irish sergeant walked that yard, 
never passing the sitting-room door without 
thinking of the gladdening contents of the big 
glass decanters upon that mahogany sideboard. 
At last he rests before the door, holding his right 
elbow in the palm of his left hand, with his 
right gently carressing his much admired goatee, 
and concludes his reverie thus: "I'll do it, 

96 From Dust to Ashes. 

begorra!" and walking in, he fills a tumbler to 
the brim and quaffs his spirits with the gnsto of 
one who has the right, and of right enjoys it. 
Resuming his walk, his heart warms to himself 
and his fellow-man, and his legs beginning to 
tire, he hies him to to the office, which hardly 
affords him a chair before he is accosted by a 
plain, young, farmer lad, whom he invites to 
"take a seat and sit down." 

In the absence of any chair, the lad promptly 
says, " I ain't got any seat." 

"The Divil ye havn't!" answers O'Rourke. 
Ye have a sate, and just put it on the steps." 
Now feeling, with the help of his libation, his 
importance as an inspector and purchaser of 
government horseflesh, he proceeds to catechise 
his visitor : 

First, spitting high and far, and with an as- 
sumption of much grandeur, he asks: "Phwat's 
yer name?" 

"Isaac White, sir," the lad meekly answers. 
"Was wounded, one of Jenkins' cavalry; father 
refugeed near here, from below Petersburg, and 
my pa sent me here to bring her up." 

"And sure, is she well put up, and will she 
stand the cavortin' of the boss!" says O'Rourke. 

"Of course she is, and of course she will; and 
moreover, she is as bright as a daisy," he an- 

Mr. O'Rourke is Hospitable. 97 

"An' now ave yer plase," said Mr. O'Rourke, 
''an' how does she move?" 

"Like a queen, and there is not her match in 
the country," answered the lad. 

"She must be a honey, be jabers," said 
O'Rourke; "and sure it will take an ambulance 
to bring the Confident money to buy the queen. 
Now, tell me, is she quiet, gentle and well 

"Oh, Lord bless you! yes; you jest see my 
ma and pa oust an' you'll be satisfied of that." 

"An' how auld is she?" asked O'Rourke. 

Isaac answered, "Just fifteen." 

O'Rourke collapsed. "Howly Moses! trot her 
around, and let me auld eyes behold the queen 
of fifteen years that can bate the Captain's seven- 
year-auld, that he rode away from here this 
blessid morn. 'Arrah! go away wid ye! Phwat 
do yer take me fer, yer spalpeen?" 

Upon which Mr. Isaac White rises in sheer 
stupefaction, not knowing whether the man was 
crazy or upon the road thereto. 

But the climax was reached when he was in- 
vited, with proper flourish of arms and much 
dignity of demeanor, to walk in and take a 
"drop," and then hitch the queen to the rack till 
the Captain should arrive. 

Whereupon the scales dropped from the eyes 
of Mr. White, and he proceeded to enlighten 

98 From Bust to Ashes. 

Mr. O'Rourke that, at the request of his parent, 
he had accompanied his sister, of fifteen sum- 
mers, to enter the employ of his host, and that 
she is now with the old man's good lady, and 
would not enjoy being hitched to the horse-rack. 

"Ouch! Murther!" said the Sergeant. 

"Kape, what I've said to ye to youre darling 
self, me lad ; there comes no good to be afther 
prating around yer own saycrets; and moind 
ye, its bether by lots and gobs to be hitched to 
a rack, rather than a wrack, which often hap- 
pens. Now will ye take a drop! That's a man 
as ye is. Now run, me honey, and give the dear 
girrul me love and dootiful regards intirely." 

Which Mr. Isaac White, judging from his 
haste, is anxious to do. 

Upon the arrival of the two Captains, some 
hours later, with two led horses, they find the 
gallant Sergeant slumbering hard and heavy, 
and seeking refreshment, soon discover the 
cause, when sounding the decanters. 

A night of rest, a hearty "Grod bless you," 
from the host, and once more our travelers are 
upon the road, and for many days are engaged 
in carrying out the orders of depart- 
ment, until caught in the advance of the troops 
of General John Morgan, composed entirely of 
cavalry, and which were moving in the direction 
of Greenville, East Tennessee. 

"Jine the Cavalry." 99 

With the sapient advice of Sergeant O'Rourke 
to "jine the cavalry" for a brief season, and 
favoring the idea with a hope of seeing the 
faces of the old folks at home, Randolph readily 
assents; and riding ahead of the command, 
they are astonished beyond expression, to find 
Morgan and staff ahead of them without escort, 
in a country if not hostile at least more than 
doubtful, and filled with Union sympathizers. 

Randolph and his faithful attendant soon ar- 
rive, and is welcomed to the bosom of his 
parents, but it was accompanied with such a 
burden of fear and anxious expectation, that 
acting upon the information of his parents that, 
the Yankees were near the place in force, and 
that his capture or death was liable from reck- 
less exposure, they waited until darkness had 
fallen, when mounting their horses, they quietly 
rode away to a safe hiding-place, near the vil- 
lage, and in easy view. 

Early next morning our adventurers were 
aroused by the noise of beating hoofs upon the 
highway, and the rapid firing of carbines ; the 
flying horseman which flashed by, and to the 
rear, being recognized as one attached to the 
body of General Morgan, quickly aroused the 
suspicion in the minds of the two experienced 
soldiers that this was the sequel of yesterday's 

100 From Dust to Ashes. 

Remaining en perdu, Randolph argued that 
having accomplished their object, the Yankees 
would retire upon their main body. At night 
they returned to the village and' learned the par- 
ticulars of the death of Morgan. 

Mrs. C. D. Williams, a most elegant, courteous 
and hospitable lady, and for many years a widow, 
was the magnate of the village; the possessor of 
a large, two-story brick mansion with basement, 
surrounded with ample grounds, having a well- 
kept garden of flowers and fruits, running down 
and extending to the main street of the village 
At one corner of the garden, and fronting on 
this street, she had constructed a small church, 
dedicated to the use of the Protestant Episcopal 
denomination ; in the diagonally opposite corner, 
and near the house, was the grape arbor, in 
which Morgan was killed. 

The maudlin story of Morgan's betrayal by a 
woman of the name and family of his hostes>. 
has been a story of no foundation in fact. It was, 
however, ravenously seized upon by "thai 
woman," Miss F , who saw another Ran- 
dolph to punish, and another victim for her 
venom. And even in after years, periodically 
did this poor she-devil visit her imbecile rage, 
until at Atlanta, the poor brute who was paid to 
many her and move away from home, put her 

General Morgan's Mistake. 101 

where bad women trouble not, nor bear false 
witness against their neighbors. 

It is an historical as well as an indisputable 
fact, that Randolph's father, and all the Williams 
family, besought General Morgan not to take the 
risk of stopping alone in this hospitable man- 
sion, to which he paid no attention, believing it 
to be idle and inane fear prompting the advice. 
Strange to say, the one most innocent of all 
knowledge of the presence of the object of all 
this parade, and of the representatives of the 
parties herein mentioned, that this absent and 
unsuspecting member of a family above all re- 
proach, should suffer from the poisoned breath 
of suspicion. Perhaps, the outcome of the vivid 
imagination of a frightened soldier, who left his 
General to be shot down like a dog, while he 
took safety in flight ; or worse still, the relentless 
persecution of a vicious woman, debarred from 
her old associates, a social pariah, whose insane 
desire for revenge had deadened every sensibility 
of gentleness and virtue, which are the crowning 
glories of her sex. 

The absolute truth of history is as follows, 
vouched for by Confederate officers who did not 
run away — men of truth and courage — backed 
by the knowledge of a member of the Confeder- 
ate Congress, and attested by the Federal Com- 
mander, General Alvan C. Gillem. who com- 

102 From Dust to Ashes. 

manded the Yankee forces that made the raid, 
and in every way a truthful gentleman, as he was 
a gallant soldier: 

Vioksburg, Miss., Feb. 13, 186-. 
Esq. — Dear Sir: In answer to your letter inquir- 
ing as to the time when and from what person I had in- 
formation of the whereabouts and movements of General 
Morgan, on which my advance and the action of my forces 
were predicated, and especially whether any member of 
the family or household of Mrs. C. D. Williams, directly or 
indirectly, conveyed to me any information on the subject, 
I have no hesitation in answering. My command encamped 
at Bull's Gap on the 31st of August, 1864. In the afternoon 
of the 3d of September, Colonel J. K. Miller brought a boy, 
some twelve years of age, to my tent. The youth informed 
me that his name was Leidy, that he lived with his parents 
in Greenville, eighteen miles from Bull's Gap; that at 12 
m. that day Osman's Confederate scouts had entered 
Greenville; that, fearing the loss of his mare, he had 
sought to escape, but had been captured; that after re- 
maining in Greenville till the arrival of Vaughan's brigade, 
Osman's scouts had advanced with that brigade to Park's 
Gap, where the brigade commanded by Bradford en- 
camped; that the scouts then advanced in the direction of 
my camp about a mile, and stopped at a farm-house for 
dinner, when the boy escaped through a cornfield. These 
soldiers and officers said that General Morgan would spend 
the night in Greenville. Such was the intelligence of the 
boy that I knew it was Morgan's purpose to attack me, 
and I determined to take the initiative and attack him at 
daylight. A brave, intelligent citizen guided us by the 
Arnet Gap road, to the rear of the left of the enemy's po- 
sition, the main body of my force advancing at 10 o'clock 
at night by the direct road to Greenville. Colonel Ingerton 
turned the enemy's left and getting into his rear, entered 
Greenville without encountering a picket. Information 

The Truth of History. 103 

was obtained from a trustworthy woman that Clark's bat- 
talion and McClung's battery were on the further side of 
the village, and that Morgan and his staff were guests of 
Mrs. C. D. Williams. Receiving this information, Colonel 
Ingerton ordered Major Wilcox, with troops of the Thir- 
teenth Tennessee cavalry, to charge into the village and 
secure Morgan. This order was executed with spirit and 
dash. Before Wilcox's command arrived at Mrs. Williams' 
house, its inmates were aroused by the firing in the streets 
and at the stables where General Morgan's orderlies, with 
his horses, were sleeping. The General and his staff, half- 
dressed, rushed out of the house and found the streets, on 
all sides, filled with National cavalry. In the melee and 
whilst attempting to escape through the garden, pistol 
in hand, and without being recognized, General Morgan 
was shot with a carbine, and instantly killed, by Sergeant 
A. J. Campbell, Thirteenth Tennessee cavalry, who was on 
horseback some eighty yards distant from Morgan, at the 
southwest corner of Mrs. Williams' lot. Sergeant Camp- 
bell did not know who the person was that had been shot 
by him, nor was the body recognized as that of General 
Morgan until the papers on his person were examined, 
nor will this appear strange when it is known that he was 
dressed in light blue pants, without cap or coat. It has 
been charged that General Morgan was shot after his sur- 
render. The assertion is not only wholly groundless, but 
under the circumstances impossible. The soldier who fired 
the shot was at least eighty yards distant, and the wound 
clearly demonstrated that the ball entered below the right 
shoulder and came out near the left breast. 

Such are the facts connected with General Morgan's 
death. Neither Mrs. Williams nor any member of her 
household gave me any information concerning the move- 
ments or position of the rebel troops upon which I pre- 
dicated the movements of my command. It is very strange 
that such a rumor should have gained circulation, when a 
son of Mrs. C. D. Williams was present with General Mor- 

104 From Dust to Ashes. 

gan and serving on his staff. It has been claimed that a 
member of Mrs. Williams' household conveyed to me at 
Bull's Gap information of the arrival of General Morgan in 
Greenville. This report is utterly false. The only infor- 
mation received is set forth in this letter. About the time 
Wilcox's brigade entered the village I attacked the enemy 
in front vigorously, compelling Bradford's brigade to fall 
back until it came upon Ingerton's command, when it 
broke and fled in confusion. The news of Morgan's death 
was rapidly spread by members of his escort, who escaped 
from Greenville, which probably accounts for the rapid re- 
treat of his center and right with scarcely an effort at 
resistance. After the engagement, the body of General 
Morgan was properly cared for by the captured members 
of his staff, aided by my own staff. It was my intention to 
send his remains to his friends at Lexington, Ky., but in 
deference to suggestions of some of his staff the intention 
was changed, and the remains were sent through our lines 
under a flag of truce. 
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Alvan C. Gillem, 
Brevet Major General, U. S. A. 

And thus is one of the errors of the times dis- 
covered and corrected; one of those strange 
falsehoods, born of malice, jealously or ignor- 
ance, and oftentimes used as an assassin's dag- 
ger to stab in the dark or to murder the inno- 
cent. Under all circumstances Morgan paid the 
penalty of his temerity, ami the Confederacy 
mourned the loss of a gallant champion. 

Randolph, with his trusty sergeant, now turn 
their horses' beads once again towards the camps 
of Greneral Lee, who hard pressed by the over- 

A Best. 105 

whelming numbers of Grant, is falling back 
and concentrating upon Richmond and Peters- 

Oppressed with anxiety for the loved ones at 
home, and fearing the continued efforts of the 

relentless Miss F , whom now he believes 

will stop at nothing, he dismisses O'Rourke near 
the Natural Bridge, and hies him to the home of 
his lady-love for a brief sojourn. 

106 From Bust to Ashes. 

Chapter YIII. 

The bright sun of a November morning shines 
down upon a body of men, clad, for the most 
part in the uniform blue of the United States 
army. A few negroes ride with them, seemingly, 
upon equal footing with the others. Each man 
has fastened some article of household goods to 
his person or his horse, and by the quick, jog- 
trot, the frequent turning of the head to peer 
over the shoulder, the anxiety of the rear files 
to keep well closed up, all gave evidence of a 
marauding crew, fearing pursuit, and seeking 
safety for their booty and their own worthless 

The commanding officer is none other than 
our ubiquitous Van Horton, who, drawing rein, 
checks his horse, until a sergeant — a slim, tow- 
headed mountaineer of some twenty-six summers 
of wild-cat distilling — draws near, and as they 
are now ascending a steep ascent of the mount- 
ain side, Van Horton addressed this Sergeant 
Lamb (and a blacker sheep never browsed upon 
the hillsides of East Tennessee) as follows: 

"We have cleaned Cedar Valley this time, and 
with better luck. In the first raid Old Randolph 

The Doctor Hanged. 107 

did give us some trouble, aud knocked over 
Sallie Jenkins. I always told her that men's 
clothes and grabbing too fast would be the death 
of her. I wonder if the pious old man won't 
get worried when he finds that he has shot a 

"Not much!" answers the sergeant. "She 
had on pants, and the pants were blue, and that 
ended it; he and all his whelps, male and fe- 
male, will rejoice." 

"We got his old partner," says Van Horton, 
"the doctor, this time for sure. But, I say, 
Lamb, the old man was nearly gone the last 
time you strung him up ! ' ' 

"Yes," says Lamb, with lamb-like simplicity; 
"he took lots of choking for a big, fat man, and 
an old man at that ; but if I hadn't kept it up 
your saddle-bags would be lighter by a mite. 
When Major Tdiii Randolph finds raid No. 2 
such a success, and his sweetheart's old daddy 
houseless and homeless, what shall we look 

"I have thought it all out, Lamb, while your 
mutton-head was resting in sleep. I have prom- 
ised my precious stand-by, Miss F , to re- 
member the whole Randolph family. I have 
done up the old man and woman, as you know, 
for you helped me; we have turned Major Tom's 
little darling out of house and home ; and when 

108 From Dust to Ashes. 

we have put our little captures in a safe place, 
we are going for the young man next. My good- 
ness! how Miss F hates that young man!" 

"It seems mighty funny, too," says Lamb, 
for I remember the time when she was mighty 
sweet on Tom Randolph. Both were 'stuck up,' 
away out of my company; but I noticed how 
she hung on to him — 'twas Tommy this, Tom- 
my that, Tommy to church, ball — and nothing 
unless Tommy was there! " 

Laughing with the reckless abandon of a 
heartless ruffian, A r an Horton, placing his hand 
familiarly upon Lamb's shoulder, and in a con- 
gratulatory strain, says: 

•• Lamb, on yesterday you gave the old doctor 
a dose, and an experience of one h , but mul- 
tiply that by four, and still that place is one of 
luxury in comparison to the hellish fury of a 
woman scorned, and she will spare neither the 
male nor female of the Major's name." 

Having reached a place both shaded and well 
watered, and having put some thirty miles be- 
tween themselves and their place of plunder, a 
halt is called, and the men are soon engaged in 
preparing for supper and a night's rest. 

No pickets are out, for Van Horton knows 
\v<41 that all the Confederate cavalry are drawn 
in and massed near Morristown, for the whole 
force of Federal horsemen are moving on them, 

The Bide to Morristovm. 109 

accompanied by a strong body of infantry, and 
if, by hovering near, and any mishap should 
occur to Major Tom Randolph, how easy it 
would be to turn it to his own account and carry 

the glad tidings to Miss F , to receive her 

thanks and reap the reward of his prowess. 

When all were sleeping, and midnight was 
passed, two silent forms arose almost simultane- 
ously, and, with cat-like tread, took their way 
to the head of the gorge, where, beneath the 
jutting stone, whose moss-covered top was 
shaded by a huge old oak — a landmark of the 
region, they hid away the gold and jewels of 
the good old doctor so lately plundered. 

Before the sun had risen these mountain thieves 
were in the saddle and traveling direct towards 
Morristown. Arriving shortly after mid-day 
near the village, and not knowing the situation 
of affairs, an ebony-hued contraband was di- 
rected to resume his dress as a field hand, and 
make his way on foot, to gather up all the in- 
formation possible and return to the troop in 
their hidiug. 

In a country thinly settled and densely tim- 
bered, with few roads to direct the wayfarer, it 
was an easy matter to find a hiding-place, even 
for a brigade, who might look down with perfect 
security upon an army without a thought of 

110 From Bust to Ashes. 

Night had settled down, and the stars came 
out in the sky, shining brightly from their azure 
canopy; the crisp winds of November sighed 
among the dead and dying leaves, rattling in 
their dryness, and then falling from the bough 
which they had gladdened and decorated in the 
bright and happy sunshine of summer. The 
stillness of night is of that nature which brings 
to the mind sweet visions of love and peace, and 
to the heart a spirit of thankfulness for all the 
good gifts of heaven. No such effect is produced 
upon the motley crew lying wrapped in their 
blankets in this mountain valley. 

The picket on duty is startled by a sudden 
burst of flame from a valley far away to the west ; 
the heavens are brilliantly illumined for a few 
moments, then fade away. "Only another reb 
burned out," he thinks, when suddenly the cry 
of an owl, "hoo! hoo! hoo! " is heard. Knowing 
the signal, he answers, and soon the crashing of 
the leaves and twigs under the heavy tread of 
footsteps betokens the arrival of the expected 

Having imparted his information, which is 
exhaustive, having visited both sides; the camp 
is soon wrapt in profound slumber — except one 
man, whose thoughts are busy of the morrow. 
Hate, jealously, love, if such as he could love, 
the hope of plunder, all passed in rapid sueces- 

In Front of Morristown. Ill 

sion through his heated brain, until nature, 
wearied at the strain came with a downy relief 
which soon lapsed into the hard breathing of a 
troubled sleep. 

Morning finds the column of Van Horton in 
motion, and straggling in some semblance of 
military order they find themselves in front of 
Morristown and between the lines of the Federal 
and Confederate troops, and as the Federal cav- 
alry were moving up to the attack, encouraged 
by the presence of overwhelming numbers, not 
from choice, but from an unfortunate necessity, 
our plundering crew were caught, as it were, 
between the devil and deep sea, and facing 
towards the village, prepared to join the attack. 

As fate decreed, Major Randolph's battalion 
was posted just beyond the crest of the hill, the 
crest itself being occupied with a row of houses 
principally those of business ; and being anxious 
for the fray, the Major had ridden into an empty 
shed-room, and, looking through an aperture, to 
his astonishment and infinite gratification, he 
sees before him the cowardly band of traitorous 
neighbors and the well-known person of their 

Riding back, he tells the glorious news, and 
his men, with quickened pulse, take firmer grasp 
upon carbine and sabre, and all feel that the day 
of reckoning is at hand. 

112 From Bust to Ashes. 

The Federal cavalry cautiously approach, 
driving slowly the gray-clad skirmishers before 
them ; when amid the booming of artillery and 
the crash of musketry, the bugles of the Con- 
federates rang clear and thrilling upon the morn- 
ing air, and with flashing sabres and rush of 
gallant steeds, they bear down upon the Fed- 
eral advance. The shock causes a sudden re- 
coil, when Major Randolph's battalion, gallop- 
ing to the front, pour in a volley from their 
carbines at close quarters, which nearly annihi- 
lates the partisan band of Van Horton, and un- 
horses him under the very sabre of Randolph, 
who is spared his death or capture, for the son 
of our good old doctor so lately plundered, with 
a yell of fury, clove his unprotected head with 
one stroke of the sabre. 

In the smoke and confusion, a fresh regiment 
of Federal cavalry came like a whirlwind upon 
the little band now fighting unequal odds, crush- 
ing and overwhelming them. Still Randolph 
cheered his men by voice and deed; to the com- 
mand to surrender, he utters no reply; with 
a pistol in each hand, he fires away; when in 
admiration and magnanimous pity, an officer 
again demands a surrender. Alas! too late. 
Wounded already — with bowels torn, a sabre 
wielded with a strong arm, descends upon his 
shoulder, and Major Randolph falls, to be 

The Street Word, "Mother." 113 

crushed under the iron-hoofs of charging squad- 

One more hero gone to rest ; one more home 
made sad and desolate, and one more heart 
to grieve of hope cheerished, now lost and gone 

The Confederates are beaten back, and a 
faithful soldier, neighbor and companion of 
Major Randolph, having never left his side, 
takes his mutilated body to a house near by, 
doing all that man could do to ease the last mo- 
ments of his dying chief. With all his agony, 
no word of complaint comes from this gallant 
soldier. Now and then a frown of pain would 
distort a face always wreathed in pleasant 
smiles, a face at all times attractive — but now 
clad in the palor of death. 

At midnight, when all was stillness, a move- 
ment of the wounded officer aroused the nod- 
ding Rogers, who, leaning over the quiet form, 
heard a gentle sigh, and then a murmur, in 
which the sweet word of "Mother" was spoken, 
and then all was still. The hunted spirit had 
gone, winging its flight where there are no more 
battles, and where the voice of the slanderer and 
calumniator is never heard. 

An old "Knoxville Register," of November, 
1864, lies spread out before me, yellow with age, 
and rumpled with folding and worn in creases. 

114 From Dust to Ashes. 

With heavy heart and tearful eyes I read the fol- 
lowing obituary : 

" Major Thomas T. Randolph, Battalion, Tennessee 

Cavalry, Vaughan's Brigade, was mortally wounded near 

Morristown on the 15th. He was born in , Virginia, 

and was but 26 years of age, when he nobly yielded his life 
for the sacred cause of Southern independence. 

"He entered at the commencement of the war, and was 
a faithful soldier to the close of his life. From June last 
until his battalion was transferred to East Tennessee, he 
was with General Early in the Valley of Virginia, and par- 
ticipated in all his hard- fought battles. 

"His parents reside in G . 

"At the time he received his mortal wound he was in the 
advance, charging the enemy. With his last breath he ex- 
pressed the willingness with which he submitted to the sac- 
rifice of his life in defense of his oppressed country. 

"Surely his noble patriotism will embalm his memory in 
the hearts of his countrymen, and the heroism of his death 
be a lasting reproach to his detractors in /i/e." 

I lay the tattered memory away, and again 
resume my pen. 

Retrospective. 115 

Chapter IX. 

We will go back to a period of only a few short 
weeks previous to the events detailed in the last 

It was at the close of a pleasant September 
day, for summer yet lingered in the lap of fall, 
and now the crimson rays of sunset were re- 
flected with a softened splendor, in the cool, 
shimmering depths of the river, where it winds 
softly past the home of Marguerite, and so down 
to its junction with the historic old James. 

Two people, in a gaily decked canoe, drifting 
quietly with the stream, felt the beauty and im- 
pressiveness of the hour. Need we tell the 
reader that the parties are Randolph and the 
fair Marguerite? 

A long silence is broken by Randolph remark- 
ing, "I cannot believe that this is our last even- 
ing together ; this week has been so like a dream 
— a very happy dream to me. I shall miss you 
so much when absent." 

The maiden flushed faintly, but did not an- 
swer, and there was silence again between them, 
but in those dark and lustrous eyes there was a 
suggestion of unshed tears. 

D A— 8 

116 From Dust to Ashes. 

They had reached the bank, and she had risen 
and turned her face so that he could not see it ; 
he put out his hand to help her from the boat, 
and her's rested on it as he stepped on shore. 
Slowly ascending the bank, they crossed the 
main road running along the river, and made 
their way to the lovely cottage nestling upon 
the mountain side, the home of sweet Mar- 

As they were passing an old trysting-plaee, 
a seat of woven twigs of hickory, Randolph, 
still holding the hand of Marguerite, drew her 
gently towards this place, seated her, and turn- 
ing a gaze both ardent and sad, said: "And this, 
perhaps, may be our last and only meeting. We 
have loved so long, and I have fed my thoughts 
night and day with sweet memories of happy 
moments passed, and happier ones I hope to 
<-<>me. Marguerite, make not this the ending of 
all — let me this evening call you by the sacred 
name of wife ! ' ' 

"No! no!" she answers. "I cannot marry 
you now; t'would break my heart to send you 
to the front alone, and I would be a burden in 
camp; a dutiful daughter, you know, makes a 
dutiful wife, and to obey my parents' command, 
prompted always by the love and welfare of 
t heir offspring, has always been the pride of my 
life and the safeguard of my happiness." 

A Squaw Bride. 117 

"Does he object to my being a soldier, or is it 
that my means are too limited?" asks Randolph 
in rather a sneering tone. 

''Now yon are cruel in your anger; it is 
neither' ' ; and — and here she breaks down and 
hides her face and tears in her handkerchief, 
whereupon Randolph melts and pronounces 
himself an incorrigible stupid and a brute be- 
sides, and with an humble heart and contrite 
spirit he begs forgiveness, and is happy again 
to see the sweet face of her whom he loved so 
dearly smiling upon him in forgiveness of his 
ill-timed language. 

"Father does say that you have made your 
home out West, and the people out there are 
so wild and desperate that he would not like 
to see me living in the midst of such a motley 
assemblage of such men and Indians — like a 
squaw in fact"" 

At this timid and sapient revelation, Ran- 
dolph is convulsed with laughter. The Margue- 
rite of his vision, she of his heart, she of his very 
presence, "a squaw ! ' ' The idea is too ridiculous, 
and again he makes the welkin ring with peals of 
laughter ; and feeling in the ecstacy of his mirth 
that a demonstration is necessary to establish his 
claim as frontiersman, he fairly scalps the maiden 
in his effort to kiss the cheek now crimson with 
blushes at the unseemly elation. 

118 From Dust to Ashes. 

" Shall I go and see the Governor!" he asks. 

"No, not yet," she answers. U I shall never 
give my love to any other but you. do back to 
your command ; love me always as you do now ; 
let me hear from you often. Your country first, 
myself afterwards. Oh! if you knew my heart, 
you would feel the bliss of another life, free 
from war, absence, and the dread of danger. 
1 will pray for you and — but here comes Sadie ; 
do be cheerful and say nothing of the past. 

Slowly approaches the sunny-haired little 
maiden, and reaching the lovers, she takes both 
hands of Randolph, and looking him steadily in 
the face, with melting eyes and lips that tremble 
with emotion, she says: "I have heard from 
home, and my father has so many kind words to 
say of you; he knew not that I should see yon, 
but in his name I thank you so kindly for your 
good services in his behalf. What can I ever do 
to repay you ? ' ' 

u Don't mention it, Sadie; glad to hear that 
the old gentleman got safely home ; there is noth- 
ing which I would not do to make you happy." 

"Oh, this war! Sufferings without number, 
anxieties, starvation and death!" says Sadie. 
After a pause she Lells them " that tea is quite 
ready, and after partaking it 1 want to read to 
you the expression of my thoughts, so beautifully 
penned by 'Daisy,' a lady of Bristol, Tennessee. 

" You're Been Crying." 119 

In the meantime we'll adjourn to the parlor 
where Captain Randolph can read my father's 
letter, and you, Marguerite, can go and bathe 
those pretty black eyes. You've been crying." 

" You are in error," says Randolph, very sol- 
emnly. "It is I who should show traces of re- 
cent tears. Marguerite insists upon my being a 

"A what?" 

"Why, a squaw-man; isn't that plain 
enough?" answers Randolph. "Wouldn't Mar- 
guerite grace a tepee f Think of her gorgeous 
trousseau of a bandana handkerchief and a red 
blanket ! Let me disabuse you ladies of this East- 
ern idea, for beauty, elegance and refinement, 
the West, yes, the Far West, furnish parallel ex- 
amples of excellence in knowledge and refine- 
ment, and frequently outvie their Eastern 

Randolph's panegyric upon the West is here 
interrupted by the announcement that tea was 

When the family are seated once more in the 
parlor, Sadie insists upon reading the poetry 
heretofore referred to as her thoughts and her 
prayer, and in a sweet, distinct voice read as 
follows : 

120 From Bust to Ashes. 

"Implora pace, Oh, our Father! 

Listen to us now, 
While in earnest supplication 

Before thy throne we bow; 
Death rides forth amid the storm, 

And war's red lightnings blaze, 
Dark clouds, and gloomy shadows fall, 

And dim life's brightest days. 

"The brow of Mars is wreathed in fame, 

And the shining laurel bound 
With the hair of dead men, dyed in blood 

From many a ghastly wound; 
The wail of childless parents 

The insatiate monster claims, 
With shriek of helpless womanhood. 

And the village home in flames. 

"The ruthless shot, with hatred winged, 

Swift rushing through the air, 
Tears the limbs of age and youth, 

Nor spares the strong and fair; 
Homes once the scene of beauty's spell 

Now desolate and drear; 
Where joy and plenty once did reign 

Now woe and want appear. 

"Life seems a dream — a horrid dream — 

Of naught but care and pain, 
From which we'd give a world of wealth 

To wake in peace again; 
Our land one scene of grief and sin, 

A wrathful, rolling sea; 
Oh! Father, guide our nation's helm 

From every danger free. 

" Hush the storm-lashed billows — 
Let us not longer grope, 
But give us o'er the darkened foam 

Imp! or a Pace. 121 

The bright day-star of hope. 
Hear us! Oh, our Maker! hear us! 

Turn the leaden cloud away, 
And show us the soft ' silver lining,' 

That foretells the coming day. 

"We would ask no selfish joy, 

Nor pleasure's boon implore, 
But that the news of battle's woe 

Might wring our souls nomore. 
Grant us Faith to bear us up 

Till death's dark hour is o'er. 
Remove thy chastening rod, and give us 

Hearts to love Thee more. 

" We have scorned the Shepherd's fold 

And wandered far away, 
And cannot hope that we deserve 

The mercies that we pray. 
Yet, spare us, Father, for the sake 

Of Him who died to save, 
And rescue our dear Southern land 

From slavery's dismal grave. 

" Oh, dry the eyes of those that weep 

For the loved ones gone ; 
Soothe children's cry, and woman's wail, 

And man's expiring groan; 
Turn back the ruthless hireling foe, 

Let war's fierce tumult cease; 
Stretch o'er us Thine almighty arm, 

Oh, God! we ask for peace!" 

Thus finishing, she sadly says: "It looks hard 
for me to quote the 'ruthless, hireling foe,' 
when my good and noble brother is enlisted in 
the ranks of the invaders, and I a Yankee born; 

122 From Dust to Ashes. 

but when I remember that all I loved was 
snatched from me by a bullet from the rifle of 
an imported foreigner, fighting for money, I feel 
half rebel." 

The host, from his easy chair, which his aged 
form holds down with 250 pounds of solid flesh 
and bone, his hands clasped before him and his 
thumbs revolving in concentric circles, thus 
breaks the pause: 

"I admire your verses, Sadie, as I admire 
you; they breathe a sweet perfume of peace and 
piety. Since Jackson's death, our old neighbor 
and friend, I have thought more about a peace- 
ful solution of all our troubles ; with his life went 
all my hopes of freedom and success." 

"Let us not bring camp-talk to this charming 
circle," says Randolph; "we are surfeited else- 
where. I will gladly volunteer to escort Miss 
Marguerite to the piano to cheer our hearts with 
sweet song." 

The music which once won the heart in col- 
lege-boy days again lingers in the ear and thrills 
the soul with memories of happy moments in 
days long past; the hours fly swiftly by, and 
late the "Grood-night" is spoken, and stillness 
reigDS in "Rose Cottage." 

Early next morning Randolph arose, and, 
wandering aimlessly among the shrubbery, he 
espied a moving object coming down the river 

One More General Killed. 123 

road. It proved to be a man, and nearer still 
it proved to be a soldier, equipped with knap- 
sack and blanket. 

To the question of "What command?" the 
soldier halted, and gracefully saluting, answered: 

"Company K., 1st Regiment of Troops, and 

that being lately transferred, was on his way 
to report to Captain Randolph at Petersburg." 

"But Captain Randolph is a member of the 

staff of General R , and I am the Randolph, 

and will leave in a few hours for my post." 

"The stranger answered that " Captain Ran- 
dolph is no longer on his staff; your General 
was killed in the Valley ; he died like a soldier, 
with his feet in the stirrups and in front of 

The gallant hero dead! The friend of his 
boyhood, and of his manhood, gone forever 
from his gaze. His eyes grew moist, and the 
helpless spirit of the inner man cried out in 
agony, "Thy will be done! " 

Bidding the soldier to await their breakfast, 
the solemn meal is soon dispatched, and but 
few hours elapse before they are steaming to 
Petersburg and its grim trenches, bidding defi- 
ance to Grant and his hosts. 

124 From Bust to Ashes. 

Chaptek X. 

Fate, with some, and the "decree of an all-wise 
Providence" of another, has been the ready 
method of thousands in solving the cause or 
effect of a momentous occurrence in man's 
life; but to the hard thinker and the more 
material mind there seems to be "a missing- 
link ' ' in the solution of the extraordinary facil- 
ities afforded the viciously wicked of evading 
death, and oftener of securing a fortunate and 
happy deliverance from impending danger. 

It is an adage that "the good die early," but 
a great many die early, and it does not follow 
that all that die early are good ; and perhaps the 
bad ones who linger along are given more time 
for redemption by a kind Providence. Let us 
hope so, for it seems that neither Fate nor 
Providence had decreed that Van Horton should 
die on that bloody hillside at Morristown. And 
we shall proceed to follow this worthy, after his 
fall, when his troop was routed by Major Ran- 
dolph's battalion. 

Badly hurt and faintly breathing, he was care- 
fully moved to one of the houses of the village, 
and after weeks of wavering between life and 

A Perfumed Invitation. 125 

death, lie was at last able to be transferred, and 
was accordingly forwarded by train to Washing- 
ton, D. C. Emerging from the hospital a shadow 
of his former self, his forlorn appearance as- 
sisted by his artful skill in deception, enabled 
this Union officer to parade his wounds and his 
person for the admiring gaze of the social circles 
of Washington. 

With the good living and charming festivities 
of Washington, Van Horton was soon himself 
again, and as the winter was fast drawing to a 
close, his thoughts naturally turned towards the 
reorganization of his band, and the means of 
replacing those who were left on the hillside at 

While quietly seated in his apartment, his 
war-like schemes are suddenly dissipated by a 
timid knock at the door, and in answer to the 
invitation to enter, a messenger appears and 
hands Van Horton a daintily perfumed note r 
which proved to be an invitation to attend an 
entertainment at the residence of Mr. Courtnay. 
There were to be tableaux vivant, music and 

Knowing Mr. Courtnay to be among the 
wealthiest of the wealthy, one of the largest army 
contractors and a power at the throne, an ac- 
ceptance was written immediately. 

The hours went by with wearisome step, but 

126 From Bust to Ashes. 

the moment came at last, and alighting from his 
carriage, his person arrayed in the gorgeous uni- 
form of a colonel of cavalry, he steps upon the 
Brussels carpet, laid down from the curl) across 
the broad sidewalk, and enters the brilliantly 
lighted parlors of the lately-fledged monetary 
lordliug, where his eyes are dazzled at the flash 
of many lights, the lovely hues of silks and 
satins, the beautiful array of ferns, flowers and 
plants, while decorating rest the wearied eyes 
with their soft, deep green; while the ears are 
assailed with the chatter of men and women, 
varied with the merry laugh of some happy 
maiden, or with the inharmonious haw! haw! 
haw! of the opposite sex, but all chastened and 
subdued by a splendid orchestra, who sit in 
improvised orchestral seats before a large cur- 

After a formal introduction, Van Horton lays 
siege to the eldest Miss Court n ay. whose stately 
figure, bright gray eyes, and light-blonde hair, 
has had the effect of adding a percentage to the 
value of her inheritance in the eyes of her gal- 
lant escort and new-born admirer. 

Turning to his companion, Van Horton says: 
"Fresh from the scenes of bloodshed, and the 
tameness and manifold sorrows of the hospital, 
what a glorious feast for the eyes and for ( im- 
pressively) the heart," and looking tenderly 

Van Horton's Modesty. 127 

down into the eyes of the lovely woman by his 
side, he adds: "For one so humble as myself, 
without prestige or record, I might say that it 
all far exceeds my deserts." 

"Your deserts!" she echoes. "Colonel Van 
Horton, how can you say such things? Is it to 
your modesty, or are you not endeavoring to 
presume upon the ignorance of your company? 
Can I not read? Have I not ears to hear? Ah! 
The vanity of man." 

Pardon me the suspicion of ignorance," he 
answers, "and least of all any doubt of the 
power of your eyes, and I thank you for your 
kindness in imputing to my modesty that which 
might have been more properly set down to my 

With a face beaming with animation, she says: 
"Do you pretend to say that you are ignorant of 
the fact that you have been promoted to the 
rank of colonel, and that your gallantry has 
been mentioned by special order f^ 

u Ah! " he answers, " it is all the mere routine 
of a soldier's life," and showing an unconcerned 
air for the honors heaped upon him, which he 
calculates will impress his companion with the 
nobleness of his soul, which seeks only the glory 
and maintenance of "the flag," he leads her to 
a seat where the tableaux can best be seen, as 
all are now being seated, attracted by the an- 

128 From Dust to Ashes. 

nouncement, followed by a grand overture by 
the orchestra. The curtain rises on 

Scene 1. "Deserted." A grief -stricken 
mother kneels by the bedside of a sick child; 
with disheveled hair and eyes uplifted, she im- 
plores Heaven's help for a worse than widowed 
woman, and for the safety of her suffering child. 
A little boy with golden ringlets falling upon 
his shoulders, stands near, gently fondling his 
mother's hair, while the scattered ornaments of 
the room show a confusion born of misfortune 
and pent-up sorrow. The outside scenery is of 
an English cottage home, nestling in a wealth 
of shrubs and flowers and creeping vines; its 
trim walk, its diamond-glazed windows and 
wealth of colors, contrasting so dismally with 
the interior. But not on this was VanHorton's 
eves riveted, but upon a. little sign-board which 


Van Horton looks with bated breath and 
startled interest, when the soft voice beside him 
remarks: "Lovely, isn't it ? My cousin volun- 
teered her services and promised this a success; 
I am so pleased that you are interested." 

"Indeed I am interested," he answers, and 
with a voice strangely altered, he asks: "And 
to what has this scene a reference — a mere fancy 
of the brain, I presume!" 

Tableaux Vivant. 129 

"I cau only refer you to my Cousin Sadie; she 
is the author and originator of all; she is a 
great favorite of my father." 

u Ah! really," he replies, and silence follows, 
until is loudly announced : 

Scene 2. u False in Lore and False in 
War." To the left of the stage and right of 
the audience was a man, an almost facsimile in 
size, age and appearance of Van Horton, kneel- 
ing in the attitude of a lover pleading his suit. 
while bending over him in all the glory of a 
triumphant coquette, stands no less a person 

than Miss F , of doubtful fame ; old men 

and women and young girls kneel with uplifted 
hands holding jewels and money as offerings, 
while young children cower in fear behind 
them — with slow music the curtain falls. 

"Your cousin has a genius for the lugu- 
brious," says Van Horton. "Is this the end."' 

"Oh, no; only one more scene," says she. 
Why do you not applaud with the rest? I 
am sure it is beautiful, and Sadie has worked so 

He evades an answer by asking: "And who 
pray, did you say was the gifted author of our 

"It is my cousin, Sadie Carday. Why she is 
just lovely; so meek and gentle, and besides 
she is just out of the rebel lines, but her gallant 

130 From Dust to Ashes. 

and loyal brother is the treasure under our roof, 
and condones all of Sadie's rebel proclivities." 

Van Horton feels the sand giving away be- 
neath his feet, First, Sadie Carday here, whose 
very tableaux were studied events of his life; 
and now her brother appears upon the scene, 
who is spoken of in the language of pride and 
affection and so studiously expressed, thus leav- 
ing him hopeless and helpless in his artful and 

wicked designs. And Miss F , when and 

how came she here? This, and much more 
flashed through the wondering brain of the 
treacherous Van Horton. 

Oh, man! wait and see! Heartless and brood- 
ing crime begets a multitude of woes, that all the 
efforts of wealth and intellect cannot still, and 
seldom assuage. 

"I will introduce you after the next piece, " 
says Miss Courtnay, "and I flatter myself that 
you will surely fall in love," and immediately 
the tinkle of the bell is heard, and there is an- 

Scene 3. The Fruits of Slander and Woman's 
Hate. The lights are burning dimly; a dark 
shadow falls upon the scene; slow, dirge-like 
music falls faintly upon the ear. An aged man 
and woman are bending in mute despair over all 
that is left of their noble soldier boy, while a 
beautiful woman, with her long, golden tresses 

Van Horton Dismayed. 131 

falling over her shoulders kneels in prayerful 
attitude at his feet. The background is a well- 
executed scene of a wrecked and ruined home. 

The make-up of the figures are of Sadie's cre- 
ation, and are known to herself, and more 
especially to one other, and that "one other" is 
Van Horton, who, with all the callowness of his 
robber-heart, has suffered an agony of mingled 
wrath and hate. Well does he know that Wash- 
ington is no place for him; but, first, he must 
know what brought Sadie here, and, with that 
end in view, he casually remarks to Miss Court- 

"And does your cousin reside here, or is she 
only visiting!" 

To which she replies : ' ' Only a visitor, as her 
brother, who, by hardship and exposure, is now 
confined to his room in this house, needs the 
attention of so sweet and skilful a nurse." 

And now the curtain falls, the representations 
are ended, and the guests are rising from their 
seats and scattering over the spacious rooms in 
quest of friends and enjoyment. All seems 
confusion, and happily for Van Horton, he finds 
a suitable occasion to accomplish his end. 

Suddenly he remembers "that urgent busi- 
ness, official of course, demands his attention at 
this very hour ( looking at his watch); except 
for the appointment previously made, he could 

D A— 9 

132 From Dust to Ashes. 

not find it possible to tear himself away, but 
duty, imperative duty alone, could cause him to 
deny himself the happiness of his present com- 
pany, with whom he had so much enjoyed the 
delightful representations which had just been 

And with much more of the same stuff, before 
Sadie could put in an appearance, our gallant, 
newly fledged colonel has dropped a crisp shin- 
plaster into the ready hand of the obsequious 
porter, who politely hands him his chappeau 
and helps him into his ample overcoat. 

Seated in his carriage as it whirls him to his 
quarters, his thoughts are troublesome ones, 
and he asks himself over and over again: "How 
came these things known to Sadie — by letter or 
in person?" 

Verily, the way of the transgressor is hard. 

When Sadie enters she is overwhelmed with 
congratulations, but when meeting with her 
cousin there is a mystic recognition, that inde- 
scribable look — part surprise, part contempt, and 
another greater part of " there, didn't I tell you 
so," which only a woman can express without 
lip or tongue. 

Then bursting into laughter, Miss Courtnay 
relates the conversation of the doughty Colonel 
— his ignorance of Miss Sadie, his enjoyment 
of the scenes, and his sudden call to duty. 

The Imposter Squelched. 133 

To all of which Sadie listens with the greatest 
attention, and remarks: 

"We have squelched the hateful imposter, 
and my Southern friend, Marguerite, will have 
an interesting, as well as instructive, budget of 
news to impart in her next letter to her intended. 
I am so glad that I posted you so well as to the 
character of the man. You must have played 
your part admirably." 

"What a strange coincidence that you should 
be thrown into the society of this man's deserted 
wife!" says Miss Courtnay. 

"Not at all," answers Sadie; "there are 
thousands making inquiries at the bureau at 
which my father presides, and when this par- 
ticular inquiry was made ' Van Horton' was the 
middle name used and not the surname, and 
getting from the lady his description, I placed 
him in a moment. My greatest wonder is how 
such a nice woman could cross the ocean for 
such a trifling fellow." 

"Let the man go," says Miss Courtnay, "and 
let us enjoy the ball." 

"I wish the ball was over," says Sadie, with 
an air of fatigue. "I shall not dance; but, mark 
my words, 'imperative duty' " ( Sadie says this 
with marked emphasis) "will cause Colonel Van 
Horton to leave Washington before the flag rises 
over the dome of the capitol tomorrow." 

134 From Bust to Ashes. 

And leaving their cosey corner, they mingle 
with the happy throng. 

And true to Sadie's prediction, before 12 
o'clock next day the Colonel is steaming towards 
Sherman's army marching on to Atlanta. 

Grand Old "Cockade City: 1 135 

Chaptek XI. 

Nevee before in the history of nations is there 
presented a spectacle of such pure and unfalter- 
ing devotion, such grandeur of courageous suf- 
fering, and such sublimity of sacrifice as was 
presented by the citizens and troops defending 
the gallant old Cockade City of Petersburg, Vir- 

With four millions of negroes behind them, 
encouraged by every art and appliance of a 
cunning and relentless foe to deeds of violence, 
of arson, plunder and murder; with the ships of 
a nation a century old blockading their ports 
and harrying their coast, a new-born Confeder- 
acy, of itself and by itself, struggles for life and 

The unequal struggle still goes on. The winter 
of '64-65 is a hard one for the Army of Northern 
Virginia, poorly fed and poorly clad as they 
were ; still there is no lack of faith in the success 
of their cause, nor thought of surrender. If a 
thousand Yankees are slaughtered, two — yes, 
five thousand more are ready to supply their 
places from the criminals and slums of Europe ; 
but if one hundred Confederates are lost, who 

136 From Dust to Ashes. 

are to fill their places? Nearly true Avas the 
Yankee General's remark, that "They had robbed 
the cradle and the grave." 

The bulk of the Confederate army is occupy- 
ing the City of Petersburg and vicinity. Grand, 
old Petersburg! Her gardens now are torn with 
shot and shell, her houses razed and crumbling 
under the incessant fire of the enemy, her help- 
less and infirm exposed to all the hardships of 
war's most fearful trials, and. added to all, is the 
gaunt figure of want,. which stalks in their midst 
with threatening mien, and the grim monster, 
Death, reaps with both hands from war and 

The lines confront one another, extending 
from the Weldon railroad, on the right, around 
the city, and following the line of the Richmond 
& Petersburg railroad and east of it, to and 
about the City of Richmond. 

The works of both armies are upon an exten- 
sive scale, and seem almost endless when viewed 
from a single point. Well-equipped batteries 
peer out from their embrasures in forts, re- 
doubts and salients, connected with trenches and 
parapets, affording protection to the troops lay- 
ing behind them. 

Now and then a solitary bastion fort of the 
Yankees stands out in an isolated position, 
mounting its heavy siege guns and flying its big 

Mail, Here! 137 

garrison flag — a mighty hedging machine — to 
accomplish by numbers and hunger what cannot 
be done by feat of arms. 

Randolph has been here now many weeks, and, 
early one morning, as he emerges from an ad- 
dit some twelve hundred feet long, to whose 
mine, at the end of it, the Yankees were offered 
many inducements to approach, he unexpectedly 
and most gladly meets an old fellow-cadet, Gen- 
eral Lane, who now with his infantry brigade 
supports the big guns of Battery 45, served by 
a detachment of the glorious old AVashington 
Artillery, and enjoys some moments of conver- 
sation and happy reminiscence. 

Having met this command before, Randolph 
notes the appearance of their ranks, thinned to a 
skeleton by battle, sickness and hard service, and 
leaves for his camp in a saddened frame of mind 

Tired, hungry and low-spirited, he sits wearily 
down in his tent to await the call of "grub." 
Suddenly his ears are saluted by a cheerful call 
of "Mail! Mail here!" and, listening, he hears 
called aloud, "Captain George P. Randolph!" 
accompanied by the remark, "and from a 
woman, too, by jingo! Look at the fist! " 

Very soon the letter is before his gaze, but 
shuts out all thoughts of hunger and weariness, 
and adds to the weight of his troubles a load as 
heavy and burdensome as it was unexpected. 

138 From Bust to Ashes. 

In brief, it tells him of the burning of the 
home of Marguerite, of the loss of all the valu- 
able improvements attached to the place — all 
given to the flames by the barn-burning raid of 
Hunter — and also tells of their intended removal 
to Columbia, South Carolina, as a point of 
safety ; for was it not there that the Confederacy 
printed their money? and with expressions of 
devotion, closes with a prayer for his safe de- 
livery from all danger by sickness and battle. 

His hunger appeased, his weariness of mind 
tempts him to wander among his fellow-officers, 
when even this privilege is denied, for an orderly 
curtly tells him that his presence is demanded 
immediately at headquarters. 

Upon reporting, he is ordered to take two 
days' rations and twenty men and report to 

Greneral G- , near Rives Salient, at 9 o'clock 

p. m. 

Promptly he has crossed the pontoons and is 
wending his way through the old " Cockade 
City," a title earned in 1812 and glorified in 

The moon, in queenly garb, was flooding all 
nature with brilliant, silvery light ; the house- 
tops glistened with the frosts of the chilly night, 
and the deep shadows of tall houses, dark and 
tenantless, are checkered with the flickering 
lights of those who cannot or will not leave. 

Special Duty. 139 

The streets are deserted, ploughed with shot and 
shell ; the fine houses on Bolingbrook street a 
continuous line of wreck and ruin, with falling 
walls and tottering chimneys ; now and then the 
sullen roar of heavy guns is heard, but the sharp 
report of the picket's rifle is never-ceasing. 
i Every step unfolds a vision of the incarnate 
deviltry of grim-visaged war. Bomb-proofs 
upon private grounds, for the security of the 
owners in case of bombardment, are numerous; 
everywhere bears the evidence of long months 
of unceasing struggle. 

Randolph reports for duty, and is assigned to 
the charge of a work of pick-and-shovel, for 
which he prepares to rest in the folds of his 
blanket, while waiting the "dark of the moon." 

It is past midnight, when the picket gently 
places his hand upon his shoulder and tells him 
"it is time." 

Arousing quickly, Randolph has his men in 
hand, and with string and pegs, they mark the 
line, and burrow like so many moles, until the 
coming of day, when the unsuspecting eyes of 
the enemy behold debatable ground no longer, 
but safely behind the fresh-raised earth are good 
men, with rifle and bayonet, to hold it. 

As an evidence that this approach to a closer 
relationship than is recognized as agreeable, 
from right and left and front a storm of shot 

1-40 From Dust to Ashes. 

and shell are poured upon them, but lying down 
close, hugging the ditches, they spend a "long, 
long, weary day," listening and watching. 

Night falls again ; a comparative stillness fol- 
lows, and at the same time as before they begin 
to extend the work, but not as before, unopposed 
or unseen, for in a twinkling sheets of fire flash 
from the parapets of the enemy, while their ar- 
tillery opens with a roar that shakes the earth, 
killing and wounding several and driving the 
remainder to the cover of their pits. 

This brought on an interchange of compli- 
ments between the opposing batteries, and for 
two long hours the din was incessant, the flash- 
ing guns and bursting shells making a pyrotech- 
nical display wondrously terrible but fascinat- 
ing to the gaze. 

As the men lay closely hugging the inside of 
the ditch while all this grand display was going 
on over their heads, no one had noticed the 
stillness of Randolph as he lay upon the ground, 
but his nearest file thought that by the peculiar 
position of his arms and body that it was not 
natural for one uninjured, and shaking him, he 
got no response; then it is found that he is 
badly wounded and insensible. 

The two hours of steady firing gradually ta- 
pers off to a single gun away down by Pocahon- 
tas Bridge (or where it was), and finally it, too, 

Captain Randolph Wounded. . . 141 

ceases, and only the "pop! pop! "' and never- 
ending 'night picket firing is heard. 

At that darkest hour, just before dawn, four 
men carrying the litter on which lies now our 
wounded Captain, are hurrying with noiseless 
steps by the very route by which they had 
tramped so hopefully but a few hours before. 

Upon examination it is discovered that the 
wounds, while painful, are not of a serious nat- 
ure, and after the patient and skilful services 
of the regimental surgeon, our hero is left to his 
nurse and gentle slumber. 

Soon in a condition to be moved, Randolph 
remembers the abiding place of Marguerite, and 
who could better play the part of physician and 
nurse than she? And would not the Confed- 
eracy have one less mouth to fill! Such plead- 
ing with the gentle and kind-hearted surgeon 
secured for Randolph a pass and transportation 
to Columbia, South Carolina. 

In the latter days of the Confederacy, in those 
days of wheezy, overworked engines and rickety 
cars, who could portray the discomfort, the filth 
and terrible trials of a wounded man, jostled, 
side-tracked; in one hour hot, the next freezing 
cold ; wretched, starved, and burning with fever 
and thirst! 

The memory of that trip clings like a night- 
mare, &nd whose recollection is brightened only 

142 From Bust to Ashes. 

by one incident. Falling into a doze, and upon 
opening his eyes at some point between £)anville 
and Charlotte, Randolph was surprised to see 
the sweet face of an elderly lady bending over 
him, smiling with a cheerfulness refreshing to a 
man in his depressed state of mind and body. 

"You have been sleeping," says she; "I hope 
that it has been a refreshing sleep. 

Buoyed by the look, the voice, and the good 
old face peering out of the curtains of one of 
those old-fashioned "sun-bonnets," sacred in 
the memory of our childhood days, he answers : 
"Yes, I feel much better, but I cannot under- 
stand why our engineer wants to jerk the life 
out of us, or break his couplings, every time 
that he starts to move." 

With the same sweet, winning smile, she an- 
swers: "You are speaking from the effects of 
the jerks upon an empty stomach, and as I 
have a basket expressly for sick and wounded 
Confederate soldiers, I make it my daily business 
to travel up and down this road, a volunteer, 
for the special service of finding such as you." 

And suiting the action to her speech, she 
beckons her waiter and regales our hero with 
viands to which he has long been a stranger, 
and which in long years after he gratefully re- 

Perhaps this will recall to many a grateful 

That Good Old- Lady. 143 

heart that good old lady, the ministering angel 
of comfort, whose kind words and gentle touch 
had soothed so many suffering soldiers, and 
whose well-filled basket brought cheer and hap- 
piness to many a wan and hungry Confederate. 
Changing cars at Branchville, South Carolina, 
but a few hours' run brought him safely to 
Columbia, where our hero is met by the blush- 
ing and happy Marguerite, who waves on high 
in exultation the Chief Surgeon's permit to 
quarter him at the home of her he loved so well. 

144 From Dust to Ashes. 

Chapter XII. 

From Petersburg to Columbia — Oh! what a 
contrast! At the one, strife and bloodshed, the 
rattle of small arms and the thunder of the big 
guns ; pale want and grim desolation stares all 
with the grimace of an insatiate demon. At the 
other is music and the dance ; gaily attired ladies 
and well dressed gentlemen, sprinkled but too 
frequently with gold-laced officers, parade the 

Worn with fatigue, and still suffering from 
his wounds, Randolph retires early, but not to 
sleep ; thoughts come and go like lighting-flashes 
through his fevered mind. The transition has 
been too sudden, and all seems too unreal. Xow, 
forgetful of his situation he listens for the in- 
cessant picket firing; but no, there is the sweet 
Toice of some fair daughter of Carolina trilling 
the plaintive melody of II Trovatore, '"Ah. I've 
sighed to rest me." 

Randolph thinks, too, of the gallant few of 
over-worked, ill-fed and long-suffering soldiers, 
who uncomplainingly shiver in their trenches — 
dying, and ready to die in defending 1 heir work. 

Wearied nature at last ;isserts her rights, and 

Only a Bream. 145 

lie sleeps that sleep which comes with change of 
place and new surroundings, deep, but full of 
the grotesque imagery of a disordered mind. 
While dreaming that he was leading a train of 
cars to capture Marguerite, who was being taken 
away by the Yankees, he was unhorsed by a 
woman with a basket, who. with her threatening 
carving-knife awakened him with a sudden 
start, to find that he had slept till 9 o'clock 
a. m., and that the sun was brightly shining 
outside of the drawn curtains. 

There was no disposition to arise, but rather 
the reverse, and with a dull pain in every joint 
and each wound, a racking headache, he rather 
wished for the early arrival of some Grood 

Not long does he wait, for a gentle knock is 
quickly answered by the expected " Come," and 
a servant enters, who is directed to call for 
medical aid. This has the effect of bringing the 
host and hostess, the parents of Marguerite, 
quickly to his bedside, who, in a short time, are 
followed by Surgeon Fisher, who, with the de- 
liberation of one who has seen service in the 
field, looks at the patient, smilingly asks how 
he feels, remarks on the pretty morning, and is 
all the time removing his overcoat, and then is 
— mum. 

With tender and skilful hands the wounds 

146 From Bust to Ashes. 

are unbandaged, and then it is discovered that 
much has gone wrong during the three days of 
inattention during travel. 

Suffice it to sav that with the severity of the 
operation, the depleted state of the body of the 
patient, and the high and almost ungovernable 
fever which held him in its fast embrace, the 
good old surgeon had a hard fight, and the 
patient a close shave for life. 

On the seventh day Randolph opens his eyes 
upon a scene never to be forgotten. Sitting 
close to his bedside was Marguerite, her elbow 
resting upon a chair, holding her cheek in the 
palm of her hand, fast asleep. Her face was 
turned to him ; evidently she had fallen asleep 
while intently watching him. What a wealth 
of happiness to him to gaze, and to watch un- 
molested that face he loved so well. He could 
almost feel her breath upon his cheek ; still she 
slept and still he gazed ; and, as if warned by 
some subtle agency, she opened her eyes to meet 
his own, exchanging a look of happy surprise. 

" Well, sweetheart, I have watched over you 
while you slept, have proved myself a true sen- 
tinel, and now won't you reward me for my 
services with just one sweet kiss?" Thus 
speaks the sick man. 

Without any shrinking prudery, she answers: 
11 Indeed I will, my brave knight," and kissing 

In Columbia, S. C. 147 

him, and again for good luck, she pauses to 
ask: " Do yon not feel much better, dear?" 

He answers: " Ever so much better; I feel 
like a new man — wonderfully refreshed; rest of 
body and mind was what I wanted. Tell me, 
darling, how long have I slept!" 

"Never mind about your time of sleeping," 
says Marguerite. "Keep quiet now, like a good 
boy, while I go and send the glad tidings to 
Doctor Fisher," who soon arrives and makes 
all happy by announcing all bad symptoms 
passed and predicting a rapid convalescence. 

At the end .of three weeks Marguerite prevails 
upon the good old folks to invite company to 
meet the Captain, their guest, at their house, 
which is granted with some gruntings, provisos 
and much ominous shakings of the head at the 
possibility of supplying the comforts for the 
inner man. 

Marguerite answers, that they '■ would make 
it up by giving them a taste of Old Virginia 
hospitality, and as most of the people were 
South Carolinians, that they would be content 
with rice." 

The eventful evening came at . last, and with 

it to the hospitable mansion of Captain D , 

the elite of Columbia. Beauty, grace and ele- 
gance of manner made up for the lack of gor- 
geous costumes, and wit, music and the dance 

148 From Dust to Ashes. 

went merrily on until the wee small hours anent 
the twal. 

But not entirely recovered from his hard 
wrestle for recovery, Randolph, with Marguerite 
leaning upon his arm, saunters into the sanctum 
sanctorum of the Pater, who calls it his study, 
where his most studious efforts are directed in 
the extraction of as much enjoyment as possible 
from a fine old meerschaum, now grown a beau- 
tiful thing of colors. Thither also, the older 
members of the throng masculine had come 
for a friendly chat and a smoke. 

Upon entering, a venerable gentleman arose, 
and with the courtesy of the chivalrous of 
bygone days, politely asks if smoking is offen- 

Marguerite answers, k ' Not at all; do continue 
smoking. I am accustomed to the smoke of 
tobacco, good tobacco, at least, and my father 
is too good a judge to offer you anything bad." 

Continuing, the old gentleman, who proved to 
be an attorney and resident of the City of 
Charleston, says: "I am delighted to have the 
pleasure of your company Miss Marguerite, and 
quite as much so to see Captain Randolph, to 
whom I extend my hearty congratulations for 
his safe delivery from all his trials." 

Randolph gracefully acknowledges the com- 
pliment, and adds that he will soon be able to 

Sherman's March to the Sea. 149 

return to his command ; that Lee can spare not 
a man; or, "mayhap, I maybe needed here, as 
Sherman is turned loose without opposition." 

A Colonel Stout, of militia fame, remarks: 
"I notice that the march to Atlanta by Sher- 
man is wn fait accompli, and now that Hood is 
away up north, may not this man with his im- 
mense army take it into his head to march east 
and then northwardly, and lay waste the 

This suggestion or question creates a diversity 
of opinion, some asserting that Sherman would 
have to move back to look after Hood, which 
was Mr. Davis' idea, when he sent a soldier to 
replace Joe Johnston, who would strike a 
" manly blow," and who struck it at Franklin. 

But old Gleneral Marcellus Brown here inter- 
posed his opinion: u No, sir; no, sir; Sher- 
man will come right on. He's got skilled engi- 
neers and constructors who will build roads 
faster than we can destroy them, and thousands 
of our negroes will assist them; and who can 
pilot them better than the black rascals, who 
know every foot-path." 

Col. Stout ventilates his patriotic estimation 
of the " sacred soil of Carolina," and cannot 
bring his mind to consider the possibility of its 
profanation by the incendiary bummers of 
Sherman's army. 

150 From Dust to Ashes. 

Seated, conspicuously in the midst of the group 
is an officer of the Confederate army, whose 
bright and unsoiled uniform, fair face and 
immaculate linen, are proofs positive against 
any charge of contact with war's rude bufferings; 
but bolstered by the kinsmanship of a power 
near the throne, usurps the place of men more 
deserving and better fitted for the duties incum- 
bent upon him. Clearing his throat and waving 
out his dexter hand, he parades his views as fol- 
lows: "At headquarters, I find a general dis- 
belief of any foolhardy invasion of our country ; 
we are entirely too far in the interior. I recently 
had the pleasure of a stroll with a visitor, or rather 
a refugee from Chattanooga, who gave Sherman 
but poor credit as a leader, and his army as 
merely a disorganized mob of bummers. He 
was highly pleased at the disposition of our 
means of defense, as well as of our forces; all 
of which I took the trouble to show and explain 
to him, and er — er — by-the-by " (with the most 
insinuating smile at having done so much for 
his friend ) ' ' he spoke of you most kindly, Cap- 
tain Randolph, and said that you would be glad 
to hear from him, and made me the bearer of 
his greetings and best wishes for your welfare 
and success." 

" I did not understand the name," remarks 

Randolph Heats of Van Horton. 151 

" Horton — Oh! yes, Van Horton, of Chatta- 
nooga," answers the Adjutant. 

11 Allow me then to say, Adjutant," answers 
Randolph, whose flashing eyes and contracted 
brows gave evidence of the awakening of the 
lion in the man, " that your news is as disagree- 
able as it is unexpected, and that your protege 
is an unrelenting enemy to our country; a 
robber by taste and profession, false to you as 
he was false to his own family. Your acts of 
courtesy and hospitality were simply wasted upon 
a spy." 

Picture if you can, the surprise and mortifica- 
tion of Adjutant Post, upon hearing the dread- 
ful news. Embarrassed and confounded, the 
holiday soldier leaves at the earliest opportunity, 
and his absence enables the older heads to 
ventilate their various disgusts of the recipient 
of his knowledge of military facts. 

To Marguerite it was nothing less than a 
severe physical shock. u Van Horton here!" 
the bete voir of the circle of friends in whose 
safety and happiness her whole soul was con- 
centrated. With a woman's watchful care of 
the invalid one. Marguerite proposes to return 
to the parlors, but her voice falls upon deaf ears, 
and until her request is repeated, Randolph 
arousing from his abstraction, apologizes for his 
inattention and escorts her to her guests. 

152 From Dust to Ashes. 

The handsome couple had hardly left the 
room before old General Marcellus Brown, with 
a thump upon the table to emphasize what he 
says: " That young man, Randolph, just suits 
me; says little, and that little he says well; sun- 
burned and scarred, he is the beau ideal of a 
soldier. Did you see him look at that pudding- 
head Post \ He looked more like an awe-ning 
post when he left us." 

"Oh, yes," says the host; "the men who 
have trotted with Jackson and Lee over the 
hills and vales of Virginia looking for fights, 
finding and winning them without counting the 
odds, are of just such stock. Now I, for one, 
am a believer in stock. I have fine stock at 
home, or did have until I gave them up to our 
government: and let me tell you, that careful 
breeding, training and handling are as essen- 
tially necessary to man as to the horse or other 
animal, and my opinion is that Post would have 
to be born again to be able to touch elbows with 
our invalid." 

General Brown, laughing merrily, says : "Abe 
Lincoln has set an example as a high breeder. 
With a single dash of the pen he has created 
men, free men; voters without an idea of gov- 
ernment; jurymen without judgment; ignorant, 
superstitious, and but a generation removed from 
barbarism and cannibalism — all this with a dash 

The Everlasting Negro. 153 

of the pen, which it took our fathers centuries 
of patient struggle, study and privation to 
secure and to be qualified to maintain. Be it 
distinctly understood, gentlemen," he goes on, 
11 that I am not a lover of the institution of 
slavery in the abstract, and recognize the love 
of liberty which is implanted in the breast of 
every living thing; yet this wholesale delivery, 
this invitation to insurrection, murder and 
arson, if not directly expressed, indirectly sug- 
gested, burdens my mind with the belief that it 
is the offspring of a cowardly brain, or a saving 
expedient in a waning cause." 

Our host, catching the infection, takes up the 
subject as follows: 

"Dropping the question of breeding, I have 
read much and studied the everlasting negro, till 
I am more convinced of his thorough unfitness 
to occupy the position now designated for him 
by the Lincoln proclamation ; an act of usurpa- 
tion and vindictiveness ; 'the very quintescence 
of malice, hatred and all uncharitableness. Gro 
back in history, yes, even to the days of Pharaoh, 
and we find him then what he is now. For 
four thousand years he has held undisputed 
possession of a continent, yet he has never made 
a law; the whole race is guiltless of the creation 
of any work of art, a statue, a painting, or a 
monument. With the wisdom, science and ex- 

154 From Dust to Ashes. 

ample of every nation beaming upon them, it 
has never penetrated their benighted haunts, nor 
conquered their invincible ignorance. He is, 
gentlemen, both morally and physically, a mys- 
terious subject of Gi-od's unrelenting judgment, 
incomprehensible as it is positive. In all past 
time he has been a servant, a menial, and Abe 
Lincoln and every other Lincoln on earth can 
with all the appliances of law, philanthropy and 
proclamation, only find him the same, either a 
barber or in barbarism." 

Having devoted this quantum of breath as a 
kick and protest at old Abe's arbitrary move, 
our host moves an adjournment to the society of 
the ladies, and here they are met with news 
which blanches the cheek of old and } T oung 
alike; it is the announcement that Savannah 
had fallen, and that Sherman, with an immense 
army, having plundered all the helpless old 
women and children in a march through a thinly 
settled country, with no opposing army, had 
formed a junction with the Federal fleet off that 
harbor, and had simply crowded out General 
Hardee with his few Confederate regiments. 

This wondrous achievement over hen-roosts 
and helpless barnyards is yclept, after the maud- 
lin sentimentality of a fawning press, "Sher- 
man's March to the Sea," and which affords a 
vent for patriotic Yankee schoolmarms by con- 

'Randolph Breams. 155 


tributing that operatic homily for school and 
church festivals entitled, "Marching Thro', 

The entertainment in honor of our hero, was 
a perfect success as a social gathering, Randolph 
meeting with many old friends among the ladies 
and among the cripples now occupying places re- 
quiring only easy service. But between the un- 
pleasant introduction of Van Horton's name by 
Adjutant Post, and the news of the capture of 
Savannah, our hero retired, wondering "what 
would happen next?" but soon fell asleep to 
dream of "that fool, Post," verifying the truth 
of the adage, that we dream of that which is last 
upon the mind before sleeping. 

156 From Dust to Ashes. 

Chaptek XIII. 

Right well did the gentleman from Chattanooga, 
the ''so-called" refugee Van Horton, accomplish 
his mission. Relying upon his knowledge of the 
generous and unsuspicious hospitality of the 
Southern people, he found it no difficult matter 
to return directly to the advancing Yankee army, 
which he overtook just before its capture of 

His mission had been crowned with success, 
and his heart fairly leaped with joy at the knowl- 
edge of the solid reward which would inure to 
his credit for so meritorious a service in behalf 
of his commander. 

Following him to his quarters, we find a merry 
crowd assembled under the shadow of a large 
"fly" which was raised in front of the tent, and 
served the purpose of mess-room, being supplied 
with camp-table and chairs. 

The tent was pitched under a lovely old "live 
oak," whose garment of long, sweeping moss 
waved gently in the passing breeze. 

Having just arrived after a long and danger- 
ous trip, and an almost equally fatiguing search 
for his quarters, Van Horton, after dismounting, 

Vom Morton's Mission Done. 157 

threw the rein in a careless manner to a negro 
boy, one of the many thousand following in the 
wake of Sherman's army, and bidding him to 
rub well, water and feed, dismissed all other 
considerations of horse or negro, and joins the 
mess, where he is received with many hand- 
shakes, many questions, with heavy slaps upon 
the shoulder, and last but not least, a pressing 
injunction to ''drink, old fellow, it'll do you 
good. ' ' 

" Say, fellows, what in the deuce could influ- 
ence an officer of the rank of colonel to take the 
chances of VanHorton's ride, unless there was a 
woman in the case!" Thus speaks one Lieu- 
tenant Peters. 

" Oh, bosh! I can measure a man better than 
that," says Captain Burke, "for Van don't 
smile, and grin, and dawdle around. Look at 
him now. Don't you see confidence in his face? 
He is plump full of valuable information. Now 
catch on, and see if I am not right." 

" Never mind a leetle about drawing dose 
conclusions, shentlemens," says Captain Grlas- 
sick, a jolly fat German with a jolly red nose; 
"youst eferybody fill up, undt let's drink a 
bumper to the arrival in der fold of our long 
lost sheeps," (and with military precision every 
glass is drained), and still standing, the rubi- 
cund German says: "Stand steady, shentle- 

158 From Bust to Ashes. 

raans; undt come here, you black rascal, and 
make fill dose glasses;" and continuing, he 
says: "Dot poy makes homesick mineself, for 
when he's aroundt I have dot odor of dose 
limberger mitoudt de beer, undt so I was all 
broke oudt. Now, shentlemans, I gifs a dost to 
dot fair lady I was entertaining yesterday and to 
the gallant officer she was looking for." 

With a clatter of glasses, a smacking of lips 
and many ejaculations, of " Oh ! " l ' Oh ! " " Oh ! " 
the rotund Dutchman subsided, puffed up with 
the vanity of the possession of knowledge un- 
known to his comrades, and the anxiety to own 
the possession whereof would make him the 
center of a fire of inquiries, direct, plunging 
and cross, as to who she was, who she was 
looking for, etc. 

While all was eagerness, their senses already 
inflamed by the liquor consumed, there was one 
who made no effort to find out by inquiry, for 
his mind was too intent upon the eager inward 
discussion as to "which one" it could be. 

The phlegmatic Teuton smoked his pipe and 
smiled calmly at the wrangle, but never turned 
his gaze once upon Van Horton to signify that 
probably that it was he for whom the search was 

In an instant the babel of voices is 
hushed, for, at a short distance from cam}) is 

Miss F Appears. 159 

discerned a lady rapidly approaching, sitting 
her horse with ease and grace, a jaunty little 
jockey-cap decorating her head, and long, dark 
green riding-skirt streaming in the wind, as her 
dashing sorrel sweeps along with light, springing 

Every man stops still ; every one looks at one 
object. None know the coming equestrienne but 
one, and he, Van Horton, rising hurriedly, 
advances to meet her; courteously he salutes 
her, and leading her horse conducts the visitor 
to the "fly," and ceremoniously introduces 

Miss F as a vision of loyalty to the flag of 

the Union. 

This is followed by more wine, and we are 

sorry to confess is participated in by Miss F , 

who, possessed of every other attribute to make 
a fast woman, finds no trouble to add a decided 
taste for exhilerating drinks. In her most win- 
ning manner Miss F , addressing Van Horton, 

asks: "Tell us what you have done, and what 
you know, for we are dying to hear." 

"You will hear soon euough," answers Van 
Horton, "and headquarters shall be the first to 
hear-, and as we have had our little recreation 
here, and you are well prepared, I will order my 
horse, ride over and report." 

The Commander-in-Chief received Van Horton 
with expressions of marked gratification, and 

160 From Dust to Ashes. 

with closed doors his report was taken in detail. 
And as the weakness of resistance; the utter 
absence of men and means of defense ; the un- 
protected homesteads, easy subjects for rapine 
and plunder, because occupied only by the help- 
less of both sexes, was shown in detail of the 
route northward via Columbia, Sherman's joy 
was boundless, and Van Horton was dismissed 
with words of gratitude and promises, which 
filled his breast with happy and buoyant hopes. 
And from this moment begins the preparation 
for a movement which is to be quick and deci- 
sive. Within three days the whole army was 
under arms, and, crossing the Savannah river, 
moved northwardly in the direction of Columbia, 
the capital of the State of South Carolina. 

Wonderful Nature. 161 

Chaptee XIV. 

How wonderful are the powers of nature; in 
number without limit, in active operation in 
every phase of existence, animate and inanimate. 
One of the most intricate powers of nature is 
the mind of man. It is a store-house from 
which is drawn all that goes to make the wealth 
and happiness of the world, or that which brings 
ruin and despair to infinite numbers. While it 
makes the law, it breaks it and defies it. It de- 
fines the right, and is quick to aid the wrong. 
It is a worker of miracles. It has taught us to 
ride upon the winds; to whisper in the ear of 
our friends an hundred miles away; to write with 
the lightning's flash, and even to control the 
mind of others; but there is one power which, 
if ever given, is evidently lost — that of controll- 
ing ones own mind. 

Thus it was with Randolph ; sleeping or wak- 
ing, his mind would dwell upon Van Horton's 
visit to Columbia. "What was he there for? 
Was he shadowing his movements, and was he, 
too, included in his scheme for vengeance, be- 
cause of his kinship! or was he simply a spy, 
and Post the dupe of his machinations?" 

162 From Dust to Ashes. 

Such was the state of his mind, that, coupled 
with his physical weakness, the hope of a speedy 
return to camp seemed to diminish, and his 
future to assume the form of a settled gloom. 

This gloom had no silver lining, the smiles 
and happy presence of the lovely Marguerite, 
now dimly seen, seemed not able to dispel the 
leaden shadow. 

It was a bright, sunny day, although it was 
crisp and cold out of doors ; the family had par- 
taken of a late dinner, and a bright, cheerful 
fire of wood burned upon the hearth of the par- 
lor; and as Marguerite sat in a cosey arm-chair 
near the sofa, where Randolph reclined in a 
musing, pensive manner, so occupied was he in 
his own thoughts, which were none of the 
brightest, that the look of intense solicitude 
which was fixed upon him by Marguerite was 
entirely unnoticed, until Marguerite, remarking 
an ugly frown upon Randolph's face, accom- 
panied by a motion of the lips and an upraised 
arm with a clenched hand, abruptly broke the 
the silence by asking: "Kind sir, are you quar- 
reling with me, or am I to be the sole audience 
to your pantomimic program?" 

Roused from his revery, Randolph answers as 
if awakened from a dream: tl Mille pardons, 
mctmselle! I was ruminating, reviewing my 
troubles. Between my impotence, loss of kin, 

"A Lovers' Quarrel" 163 

friends, home, the curse of Van Horton, the 
vindietiveness of Miss F — , and last but not 
least, my separation from my command, I feel as 
if I was undergoing the agony of being drowned 
in a sea of troubles." 

"Then my company goes for naught," says 
she.. "Who nursed you back to life, 0, base 

Upon his essaying to speak, smilingly, she 
shakes her finger at him and bids him to "repent 
and say something nice and pretty, something 
penetential, to show at least that the sense of 
gratitude is not entirely dead within you." 

"My dear, I plead guilty to any charge of 
poverty of language to express, and my inability 
to repay you for your unselfish and untiring 
efforts in my behalf when so ill. May Heaven 
bless you, sweet one; but ungrateful — never! 
We have never had what others so often seem to 
crave, 'a lovers' quarrel,' and with God's help 
we never shall ; but you must bear now with my 
depression, for I have for several days felt a 
sense of impending danger, an incubus of 
trouble, which I cannot account for, nor can I 
throw it aside." 

"It is perfectly natural for morbid ideas to 
pervade the mind, when sickness seizes the 
body ; or, perhaps, you may find some relief by 
piling the blame upon that poor, patient, and 

164 From Dust to Ashes. 

long-suffering member — the liver!" answers 

"No," answers Randolph, "my thoughts do 
not seem the offshoot of anything morbid, nor 
even the result of a torpid liver; it is, or will be, 
all, I fear, but too real; and now please" 

There is a pause, for there came a loud ringing 
of the front door-bell, which cut short any further 
conversation, and in a few moments a servant 
annouced a lady, much to the surprise of both. 

Marguerite saw before her timidly advancing, 
a woman of lithesome figure, with hair, eyes 
and complexion filling all the requisites of ;i 
pronounced blonde; whose carriage betokened 
a courage begotten of pride and right, but 
whose sombre dress and wan and troubled ex- 
pression appealed at once to the heart for aid, 
comfort and protection. 

Being seated, she handed Marguerite a note, 
remarking as she did so that she was happy and 
grateful to be the bearer of a missive from a dear 
friend, Miss Sadie Carday, now visiting at 
Washington, D. C, who so kindly volunteered 
to introduce herself, who was en route south in 
search of her husband, now Colonel Van Horton, 
of the United States Army. 

Here was a revelation, and with Randolph, 
adding another stigma to the already stigmatized 
Van Horton. 

A Letter From Sadie. 165 

An expert mind reader would have found a 
task of extraordinary application, or perhaps 
would have been paralyzed at the expressions of 
amazement, sorrow, contempt and anger which. 
pervaded the countenances of these three per- 
sons as they stood for a moment silently gazing 
at one another. 

"Please excuse me,' 7 remarks Marguerite in 
her most courteous manner, u while I read 
Sadie's letter," which was as follows: 

Washington, D. C, Jan. 15, 1865. 

My Dear Marguerite — This will be handed to you by 
Mrs. Van Horton (really Mrs. A. Van Horton Darke), a 
native of England, in search of her husband, and who 
deserves all your sympathy as a true woman, and the inno- 
cent sufferer through the misdeeds of a heartless wretch. 

She seeks not her husband to regain him, but for a pur- 
pose dearer to a mother's heart — to secure her child, taken 
from her in England, and who is reported to be with Van 

H , or near him, under the charge of a Miss F or 

Mrs. Van Horton. Give her all the help and comfort you 
can. We caught up with Van Horton here, but when we 
thought we had him, he gave us the slip. 

Nothing in this contraband, and a wounded and paroled 

prisoner kindly promised to see Mrs. Van H through 


Love and blessings. 



The elegance of manner, together with the 
friendless and pitiful condition of the poor 
stranger, was an impetus to each to suggest the 

166 From Dust to Ashes. 

best and surest method of finding the wretched 

Randolph, however, with a soldier's suspicion, 
asks: "Why, Madam, did you not go direct by 
the Yankee route, as by following it you can 
more rapidly accomplish your purpose?" 

With fiery energy, she answers: "I have no 
sympathy with the man or his cause ; I desire 
only to meet, not to follow him." 

So earnest were they, that it was late when 
Mrs. Van Horton (as we shall call her) took her 
leave, promising to return early the next morn- 
ing and endeavor to secure passes from General 
Beauregard, now in command, and proceed to 
Savannah, via Augusta. 

The next morning was ushered into life with a 
sun beaming with a beauteous luxuriousness al- 
most preternatural, and as the rays came slant- 
ing in its first efforts to kiss the tops of the 
leafless trees, and warm with its sunny breath 
tlit- frosts of night, every housetop in the City of 
Columbia seemed to reflect the glory of the god 
of day. 

The beautiful city awoke to life, and, in the 
happy sunshine, the citizens engaged in their 
usual routine of business — thought not of mur- 
der, rapine and arson. 

It was about 3 o'clock p. m., of the 15th of 
February, 1865, when a drooping, hard-ridden 

A Courier Arrives. 167 

horse came slowly over the old, wooden bridge, 
spanning the Congaree river, bearing a cavalry- 
man, dusty and weary. A frank, handsome face, 
heavily moustached ; broad shouldered, and with 
an old slouch hat cocked rakishly upon one side, 
he seemed the beau ideal of a man to trust upon 
a mission where danger required a quick eye, a 
strong arm, and plenty of nerve. 

The rider knew his horse, for he was a part of 
him. The poor, dumb brute had served his 
master well; and, best of all, his master knew it, 
and loved him for it ; and now, having passed 
the bridge and climbed the ascent to the railway, 
even passing the old freight-house, soon to be 
blown to atoms, our wearied horseman straight- 
ened up in his saddle, his animal felt the move- 
ment, and, quickly responding, hastened his 
pace, and soon he is at the door of the Mcker- 
son, where G-eneral Beauregard had established 
his headquarters. 

Very soon it transpires that this man has 
brought the message that Sherman, with his 
whole army, was in full inarch upon the helpless, 
undefended city. 

The news was soon spread throughout the city, 
and many refugees, who had secured homes 
here, made haste again to decamp. 

Many of all classes determined to brave it out. 
Their means were exhausted by the war, and 

168 From Dust to Ashes. 

they had no place to retreat, nor means of sus- 
tenance if they did. 

Many prepared to leave, not earing to trust to 
the tender mercies of a foe who had plundered 
and burned a path through the unprotected 
homes and fields of helpless old men and inno- 
cent women. 

On the arrival of Mrs. Van Horton, she found 
the whole house in confusion. 

Randolph had gone to the front, with a few 
government clerks, some cavalry, and what was 
termed Home Gruards (for the sake of euphony), 
but Marguerite was determined to stand her 
ground, and Mrs. Van H. was equally deter- 
mined to cast her lot with her. 

A widespread gloom settled down upon the 
whole city, and a hopeless resignation seemed to 
pervade the homes of all. 

To those who had counted upon the magnan- 
imity of the foe — "Sleep on; sleep for a little 
while ! ' ' — there will be a sad awakening, for 
there comes a hero (God save the mark) who 
has declared that "Columbia is as bad as Charles- 
ton," and that "Salt would hardly be necessary 
to sow upon its ruins." 

Oh, brutal man! Is this the reward of one T 
trusted, honored, and placed in the highest po- 
sition of a generous and unsuspecting people! 
Nous verrons. 

The Enemy Appears. 169 

Chaptek XV. 

On the next afternoon, the 16th day of Febru- 
ary, 1865, looking across the Congaree river to 
the hills about a mile beyond, there came borne 
upon the air the usual prelude of an advance, 
the "pop! pop! pop!" of the skirmish line. 
The evening was far advanced when the firing 
increased; and very soon could be seen a long, 
irregular line of ununif ormed men swaying across 
an old field between two lines of trees. No 
flashing battle-flags to cheer the heart or to greet 
the eye; no veterans were there, only hastily 
improvised two-legged obstacles, which only 
meant delay. 

With what thoughts did each one regard this 
panorama, as Marguerite and her guest watched 
the exciting but hopeless scene! 

Soon darkness settled over the scene, and 
with burning stores and cotton, the movement 
of troops, principally cavalry, the sad hearts of 
the populace wore out a sleepless night, but 
scarcely realized a foretaste of the dreadful ex- 
perience in store for them. 

The next day, February 17th, the Federal 
troops threw their shells into the city, and with- 

170 From Dust to Ashes. 

out opposition, marched in and took possession, 
Sherman marking his supereillious entry by his 
vulgar discourtesy to the Mayor, who met him 
upon entering. 

The terrible day wore away into the darkness 
of the night. The helpless, young and old, now 
worn with watching and dreading the vengeance 
of the oppressor, were suddenly aroused to 
anxious wakefulness by the cry of "fire! fire!" 

Soon the city was illumined by the flames 
arising simultaneously from different points of 
the compass. The residents then saw and felt 
their doom. 

The flames spread rapidly from house to 
house; drunken soldiers looted ad libitum. Men, 
women and children rushed hither and thither, 
frantic with fear; or, over-eager to save their 
property, lost all by attempting to appease the 
rapacity of their despoilers by offering a part. 
Some to seek safety from personal harm, lifted 
the sick upon cots and litters to the middle of 
the street, where the full view of the terrible 
scene made the hope of safety mockery by add- 
ing horror to danger. 

The Carnival of Arson and Deviltry went on 
in every form of crime known to rapine, robbery, 
lust and vengeance. 

Marguerite and her guest were so paratyzed 
with fear that neither could realize the extent of 

Columbia in Flames. 171 

the conflagration, as the place was filled with 
soldiers in every phase of temper and intoxica- 
tion, either burning or stealing. 

The fire went on in its consuming course, near- 
ly destroying the beautiful city by sweeping away 
everything from the State House on the south to 
the distance of about one mile northwardly ; and 
what had once been thickly studded with hand- 
some and substantial brick buildings, occupied as 
stores, offices, hotels, etc., was one solid ruin: 
and on each side a distance of from one to three 
blocks thoroughly Shermanized. 

Could Sherman have ever seen the order of 
the Christian soldier, which we so proudly here 

"Headquarters, Army Northern Virginia, 

"Chambersburg, Pa., June 27, 1863. 

"It niust be remembered that we make war only upon 
armed men, and that we cannot take vengeance for the 
wrongs our people have suffered without lowering our- 
selves in the eyes of all whose abhorrence has been excited 
by the attrocities of our enemy, without offending against 
Him to whom vengeance belongeth; without whose favor 
and support our efforts must all prove in vain. The Com- 
manding General, therefore, earnestly exhorts the troops 
to abstain, with most scrupulous care, from unnecessary or 
wanton injury to private property, etc. 

"R. E. Lee, General." 

The night wore slowly away, the breeze stir- 
ring the flickering ernbers, and the smoke still 

172 From Dust to Ashes. 

hovering over the crumbling ruins. Worn out 
with the bacchanalian orgies of the night, and 
weary and weighted with plunder, the soldiers 
slept until the day again broke over a city con- 
quered, plundered, and in ashes. 

Having satisfied his burning desire to take the 
city, Sherman had also satisfied his desire to 
burn it, and now he began his march to leave 
the ashes of the mighty camp-fire of his ven- 

So horror-struck with the reckless destruction 
of private property, and a witness of the crimes 
and excesses committed by the bummer troops, 
too horrible to relate, Mrs. Van Horton was loath 
to trust her presence to the tender mercies of 
the inarching army. 

Believing that Randolph's physical condition 
would soon force him back, or that he would 
soon return to relieve their necessities, as they 
were despoiled of the very necessities of life and 
would starve without help, Marguerite advised a 
patient wait for his arrival. 

On the day of Sherman's entry into the city, 
Randolph joined a body of cavalry under Gen- 
eral H , at Littleton, seven miles north of 

Columbia, as a volunteer, and proceeded with 
them to Newberry, to assist in driving off de- 
tached bands of Yankee raiders. 

Hearing early of the destruction of Columbia, 

Randolph Returns to Columbia. 173 

lie secured supplies immediately, and took the 
main road going down the valley of the Saluda 
river, his wagon heavily laden with provisions 
for the now destitute citizens. 

From Newberry to Columbia is about forty 
miles, and along the entire route Randolph saw 
naught but ashes and a widespread desolation. 
Where but a few days before stood the happy 
homes of helpless youth and defenceless age, 
there stood only the bare chimneys, the silent, 
solemn monuments marking the path of plunder, 
arson, rape and wanton destruction. 

The silent ruin nevertheless spoke to the heart, 
and Randolph was oppressed beyond measure. 
He had participated in all the campaigns in 
Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania where sol- 
dier met soldier armed and equipped for battle ; 
where fields were covered with the dead and dy- 
ing, victims of war's insatiate thirst for blood; 
yet never before had such a cruel and relentless 
exhibition of uncivilized and barbarous warfare, 
and desecration of the property and sacred rights 
of non-combatants met his gaze before. 

Time, time cures many a rugged wound; and 
it is well said that he who forgives not, breaks 
down the bridge over which he must cross ; but 
in future time, when the truth of history will be 
known, will it not be a blight upon a hero's ( ?) 
escutcheon, to stand convicted as the author and 

174 From Dust to Ashes. 

abettor of such infamy.' And in an age like 
this, the age of steam and electricity, the Nine- 
teenth Century, the apotheosis of civilization! 

Crossing the river to the Columbia side, Ran- 
dolph wended his way through the burnt district 
to the home of Marguerite, and to his mortifica- 
tion found her absent, but was solaced by the 
joy of her father, who was rapturous in his praise 
of the timely arrival, claiming that he had re- 
versed the parable of the Prodigal Son. 

No time was to be lost ; people were in want 
of the necessaries of life, and old Captain Darl- 
ington claimed that he had in no wise left his 
code of Old Virginia hospitality behind him. 

Not forgetting the venerable Doctor who had 
attended him when so near death's door, Ran- 
dolph desired to supply him first. Upon arriv- 
ing at his gate he went no further, for there was 
not a vestige of his pretty home. 

The Doctor was a man of noble physique, 
noble in character and striking in appearance — 
a man who stood first in his profession in the 
city and the State — and his home was the fruits 
of a lifetime of laborious service. 

Decorating the walls of his mansion were the 
pictured forms and faces of those who had fig- 
ured in the history of their country's glory; of 
a son who was slain in the celebrated charge of 
the Carolina troops in the bloody battle of 

s ■• -. 



The Venerable Physician. 175 

Buena Vista in Mexico, and whose name is em- 
blazoned upon the pedestal of the bronze Pal- 
metto monument in the Capitol grounds of 

While Randolph contemplated the sad scene, 
the old Doctor came along, simply from force of 
habit, and espied his patient, and with the same 
calm demeanor which always characterized him 
expressed his happiness in beholding his im- 
proved condition. Not one word of complaint 
passed the old man's lips, though homeless and 
suffering from hunger. 

Randolph, clasping his hand, said: "Doctor, 
you have my heartfelt sympathy, and I have 
come as your temporary commissary and desire 
to issue rations." 

" Thanks, Captain; many thanks. Your ar- 
rival is very opportune; my children and or- 
phan grandchildren are sorely in need. You 
see our shelter is gone and our rations went at 
the same time." 

''Tell me, Doctor, how they came to burn 
your place — you, a much-needed man among 
the sick, and a non-combatant?" 

"Why they destroyed my premises, I cannot 
tell ; how they did, I can. I was called away in 
the very height of the conflagration to attend a 
lady patient. I left my children and grand- 
children with my housekeeper, (my wife being 

176 From Dust to Ashes. 

dead). I was absent about an hour, when upon 
my return, I found my children shivering with 
cold and fear upon the front porch, and a num- 
ber of Federal soldiers moving up and down the 
stairs, sacking the house. As I stepped upon 
the porch a soldier went to the parlor door and 
shook it (it being locked). He asked, 'What's 
in here?' I, referring to my portraits, an- 
swered, ' None but the dead. ' They then came 
out upon the porch, threw inflammable liquid 
upon the siding and floor, struck matches and 
fired my home. I turned to my children and 
said, 'Come.' We left and saved nothing, not 
one single item."* And as they turned their 
1 »acks upon the blackened ruins, they directed 
their steps to the home of Marguerite. 

To tell the truth, Randolph was thinking of 
his darling little girl, but the good Doctor, 
taking another view of his silence and abstrac- 
tion, proceeded to say: "I will not revive sad 
memories in my own breast, nor tire you with 
the harrowing details of the night of the 17th of 
February, 1865 ; they are known to our Father 
in Heaven who hath said, ' vengeance is mine, I 
will repay.' My dear Captain, crimes were com- 
mitted too horrible to relate — excesses marked 
by the cruel invention and barbarous vulgarity 
of untamed savages." 

*True, verbatim. 

Marguerite Saves her Jewels. 177 

With this, the subject is dropped; for there 
upon the veranda, in all the glory of her Con- 
federate "Bee Store" calico, stood Marguerite, 
whose smiling face was as radiant with happi- 
ness as a heart rilled with love, satisfied and 
glorified, could make it, awaiting the return of 
her patient lo\ r er, now impatiently. 

Catching the contagion, Randolph, feeling 
quite as happy, and perhaps more so, cries out, 
"Is it I or the rations!" 

"The rations, of course, you darling old fel- 
low," answers Marguerite. "You have come in 
the nick of time. Although they did not burn 
our home, they took all that we had, and turned 
up the whole yard with their bayonets, seeking 
for buried treasure. Bless your soul," laugh- 
ingly, she says, "but are they not experts! 
Not quite smart enough to get our little en- 
gagement ring, with my few remaining articles 
of jewelry; for my maid, Julia, lifted a fence- 
post in the stableyard, and put back the 
post upon my fortune, and lo! they are here, 

And thus the afternoon passes away. The 
kind, old Doctor had left several hours before; 
tea had been served, and, as it was growing late, 
the family were preparing to retire, when a mes 
senger brought to Randolph a note from the 
surgeon in charge of the hospital, asking his 

178 From Dust to Ashes. 

immediate attendance at the special request of 
Mrs. Van Horton. 

Donning his military overcoat, and looking 
well to his " navy six," he soon found himself 
at the office of the hospital, where an attendant 
was awaiting to conduct him to the ward in 
which the surgeon was engaged. 

Proceeding thither, he was ushered into a 
large, airy room, containing a single cot, upon 
which a man was lying. Bending over him 
stood the surgeon, while Mrs. Van Horton stood 
near, holding a basin of water. To an old sol- 
dier, it was evident they were dressing the 
wounds of some unfortunate. 

All was still — -no word was spoken — and the 
little clock upon the mantel merrily clicked 
away the minutes of time, careless of their value 
to the patient, whether living or dying. 

With a look of thanks from the woman, and 
a nod of recognition from the doctor, Randolph 
entered with noiseless steps, and looked down 
upon the mangled form of Colonel Van Horton ! 

When Columbia had fallen into the hands of 
the invaders, Sherman ordered the shot and 
shell stored in the magazine of the State arsenal 
on the hill, near the reservoir of the city, to be 
loaded upon wagons and to be thrown into the 
river, by a detail of forty or fifty men. 

Van Horton was superintending the casting 

A Hospital Scene. 179 

of the shell into the Congaree river, when, by 
some unaccountable mishap, an explosion oc- 
curred, killing every man of the detail and fatally 
wounding the officer ( Van H. ) in charge — liter- 
ally annihilating soldiers, mules and wagons.* 

Having accounted for Van Horton's condition, 
we will proceed with our story. 

The continued efforts of the surgeon, ably as- 
sisted by the discarded wife, soon told upon the 
suffering man, for, after a few moments, he 
gradually aroused from his lethargy, coolly sur- 
veyed his surroundings, and recognizing and 
fixing his gaze upon the woman whom he had 
so grievously wronged, faintly asked, "Is it pos- 

Being moved by a sense of pity, the poor 
woman approached the sufferer with tearful eyes 
and outstretched arms, with an effort, once more 
to press her head upon the bosom of him who 
had pledged to love, honor and protect her, when 
the door was suddenly opened from without, and, 
like an apparition, a tall, handsome blonde, ele- 
gantly attired, and leading a handsome boy of 
six or seven years, glided into the room with al- 
most abrupt haste, and with the manner and as- 
surance of one both privilged and expected. 

Not understanding anything of the history of 
the parties here strangely met, the doctor, who 

*True. D A— 12 

180 From Dust to Ashes. 

had been closely watching his patient, who de- 
sired to meet with Randolph before bidding 
farewell to earth, turned to Randolph, and was 
almost startled by the expression of his face; 
his hands were clenched, his eyes blazing with 
wrath. What could have aroused such an exhi- 
bition of anger and hate by the mer,e appearance 
of a woman in the act of rendering a friendly 
service to a suffering soldier? This was the 
question that flashed through the doctor's mind. 

Not long did he have to wait to have his ques- 
tion solved. Thinking Randolph to be in Vir- 
ginia with his command, Miss F , in her 

haste scarcely noticed the presence of any one 
except that of Van Horton and the surgeon 

Closing his eyes upon her entrance, Van Hor- 
ton's quietude, with that of everyone else,mad<' 
the stillness of the room almost death-like, until 
Mrs. Van Horton, who had stood spell-bound 
upon the intruder's entrance, and had fixed a 
long, loving look upon the child introduced, 
gave a cry of joyful recognition, which startled 
her hearers, and was strangely echoed through 
the dimly lighted halls. 

The scene which followed would require the 
genius of an Edgar Allen Poe to present, for 
what followed was beauty, deceit and sin en- 
trapped, then expelled; hope, love and honor 

"Forgive Me, Grace." 181 

rewarded, and the heart made glad; and to the 
now poor, helpless sufferer the knowledge of 
G-od's good pledge "Vengeance is mine, I will 
repay. ' ' 

The piercing cry had scarcely died away, when 
Van Horton, stretching forth his right arm, the 
only uninjured limb, and raising his head, 
pointed to the child now in its mother's arms, 
and said: " 'Tis hers — 1 — I have failed." 

To Randolph — "You have her (pointing to 

Miss F ) to thank for all my work of vicious 

hate. I know that I have to die, and I want 
your forgiveness. ' ' 

And to his wife, very feebly : "Can you forgive 
me, Grace?" 

The poor, heart-broken woman, wife-like, 
forestalling his thoughts, even his desires, held 
the child's quivering lips to his parting kiss, and 
clasping the weary head to her bosom, saw and 
felt the breath going by gasps from the poor, 
shattered body, while Randolph held his hand 
and assured him that he was forgiven, as he 
hoped to be forgiven. 

It was but a few moments when all was over, 
and the little one fatherless. 

During the death scene, Miss F had 

weighed well that the meeting with Randolph 
was not a matter of trifling interest, both on 
account of her acts of a personal character, 

182 From Bast to Ashes. 

and her association as a unit in the invading 

With that cat-like quietness and alertness 
which characterized her movements, she disap- 
peared unseen, nor was her departure noted or 
cared for; like a cigar stump it was smoked out, 
and the'remains went to the gutter; but in long 
years after, the lightning of her unscrupulous 
wrath flashed through sombre clouds of news- 
paper slings. 

In a few days Van Horton slept with the sod 
above him, which he had so lately trod as con- 
queror, his wife and little one awaiting a steamer 
at Charleston. 

When Colonel Van Horton was picked up 
after the explosion, with shattered limbs and 
mortal wounds, the news traveled like a flash to 

his camp quarters, where Miss F and his 

child were cosily enjoying a siesta in the deserted 
premises of a prominent refugee. 

Leaving the child, she hurried to the scene of 
devastation, to find that the Colonel had been 
conveyed to the nearest hospital, which was in 
use by the Confederates. Hastening thither, 
she was informed that he was then unconscious, 
and that his wounds were mortal. Tired and 
depressed, she sat down by his cot to await the 
return of consciousness. 

Long did the moments seem, but at last there 

Farewell Miss F . 183 

came a long-drawn sigh, a moan of pain, as 
nature came back to assert its claims and to 
resent its abuse, and with lips contracted with 
pain, received the kiss of his visitor. 

Knowing his desperate condition, he said in a 
mandatory tone: 

" Gro, bring my boy, that I may see him once 
more before I die.' 1 and acting promptly the 
fear inspired by his words and his condition oper- 
ating as an impetus to her movements, she hast- 
ened away and soon accomplished her errand, 
with the result already described. Ignorant of 
the happenings while upon her errand, Miss 

F , with her proverbial recklessness, rushed 

into the presence of those who loathed her very 

And now we relegate her to her bummer asso- 
ciates, and waive her adieu forever, to resume 
the thread of our story. 

Randolph and Marguerite made frequent 
tours about the city, and contributed in no 
small manner toward the alleviation, if not the 
relieving of the distress of many families. 

Deep and bitter was the denunciation of Sher- 
man for his inhuman barbarity in the unneces- 
sary destruction of one of the fairest cities of 
ths South. 

And now, thirty years after, let us pause for 
a few moments to consider the facts in the noble 

184 From Bust to Ashes. 

effort to obtain the truth, of history, asserting 
only what we know, and quoting from Sherman 
himself, who tells of his cruel and unwarrant- 
able crime of looting and burning Columbia. 

In the Memoirs of W. T. Sherman, written 
by himself, page 287, Vol. II., occurs these 
words : " In my official report of this conflagra- 
tion, I distinctly charged it to General Wade 
Hampton, and confess I did so pointedly to 
shake the faith of his people in him; for he was 
in my opinion a braggart, and professed to be 
the champion of South Carolina." 

Was there ever a more puerile sentence writ- 
ten than this — a spiteful, jealous, emanation of a 
mimic historian l 

If there was ever one name the least appli- 
cable in the language of every people upon God's 
earth, the name of braggart connected with that 
of Hampton is the one. It may be handed 
down only in Sherman's book, but an incendiary, 
indicted by a civilized world, and proven by the 
words of his own mouth, can never besmirch 
the character of so gallant a gentleman. 

Did Hampton's cotton and torch reach forty 
miles, cross the Congaree and Saluda rivers, rest 
for hours from its labor of love and affection to 
his old friends, neighbors and kinsmen, and then 
burn Columbia and despoil the home of his wife 
and children? 

Sherman Dissected. 185 

Sherman burned Columbia — contemplated it, 
and carried out his contemplation to the letter, 
his denial to the contrary notwithstanding, and 
his Memoirs prove the truth of the assertion. 

See page 152, Volume II, to show his animus, 
his incendiary propensity: "Until we repopulate 
Georgia it is useless to occupy it, but by the 
utter destruction of its roads, houses" (not its 
armies), etc., * * * "we can make this inarch 
and make Georgia howl." 

Again, page 159, Volume II, "I sally forth to 
ruin Georgia." Not one word of fighting — only 
of the looting and barbarous destruction of the 
homes of helpless non-combatants — old men, 
women and children. 

On entering South Carolina, in Sherman's 
general order No. 120, page 175, Volume II, this 
appears: "Section 5. To corps commanders 
alone is entrusted the power to destroy houses." 

Halleck wrote from the City of Washington, 
December 18, 186-1 (see page 228, Volume II): 
"Should you capture Charleston, I hope that by 
some accident the place may be destroyed, and if 
a little salt should be sown upon its site," etc. 

To Halleck, in answer, Sherman writes (see 
idem): "I will bear in mind your hint as to 
Charleston, and do not think that salt will be 
necessary. When I move, the Fifteenth Corps 
will be on the right of the right wing, and their 

186 From Dust to Ashes. 

position will naturally bring them into Charles- 
ton first, and if you have watched the history of 
that corps, you will have remarked that they 
generally do their work pretty well. The truth 
is, the whole army is burning with an insatiable 
desire to wreak vengeance on South Carolina. I 
almost tremble at her fate, but feel that she de- 
serves all that seems in store for her. I tool; upon 
Columbia as quite as had as Charleston." 

And true to his promise to Halleck, the Fif- 
teenth Corps was the first to enter Columbia, 
"which was quite as bad as Charleston;" the 
"same accident" did occur, and the place was 
laid in ashes. 

How, in the face of all this, and thousands of 
eye-witnesses, could Sherman have the unblush- 
ing afirontery "to charge it to General Wade 

To falsify his denial by an open and honest 
confession, which, perhaps, he conceived, ac- 
cording to the teachings of an old adage, would 
work some benefit for his soul, was a crowning 
act of his literary digest, and occurs on page 
288, Volume II, of his Memoirs: "Having utterly 
ruined Columbia, the right wing began its march 

After maturing a march, poetically to the sea 
(really against old men, women and children, 
all helpless and defenseless), by a general order 

The Great Lee. 187 

systematically arranging details for marauding 
and plunder, in the bitterness of his venom he 
ruthlessly loots and burns, and, appalled at the 
enormity of his crime, most lamely attempts to 
shift the burden upon the shoulders of an hon- 
orable soldier. 

Oh, no! General Sherman. Hampton was no 
descendant of the burning race: nor was his 
sword ever drawn upon old men, women and 
children, but under his superior officer, the Great 
Lee, he was expressly forbidden such, and, by 
general order, reminded that " Vengeance was 
only the prerogative of his Maker. ' ' 

Apropos just here, a little incident we beg to 
mention — a jewel worth unveiling. 

When Barksdale's sharpshooters, before Fred- 
ericksburg, destroyed the pontooniers, and im- 
peded the construction of the pontoon bridge, it 
so provoked the general of side-whiskers fame — 
the Bur aside — that forgetting the men with arms 
in their hands, he turned one hundred and forty- 
seven pieces of artillery upon the devoted city, 
driving hundreds of women and children from 
their homes, to wander over the frozen highway, 
thinly clad, and knowing no place of refuge, 
their miserable path lighted up by the lurid glare 
of their own homes and the bursting shells of 
one hundred a»tl forty-seven guns. 

General Lee grimly watched the painful spec- 

188 From Dust to Ashes. 

tacle from a redoubt, silently noting the wanton 
destruction; then gravely turning to those near 
him, remarked: " These people delight to de- 
stroy the weak and those who can make no de- 
fense ; it just suits th cm . ' ' 

Let this be Sherman's epitaph. 

We honor men like Grant ; cool in the midst 
of all troubles, honorable and just in his deal- 
ings, a hero who faced death on a hundred bat- 
tlefields, and twice on his bed of sickness ; a sol- 
dier who sought his armed enemy and gave him 
battle — all honor to the noble warrior! The 
prayers of every good soldier goes up to the 
great, White Throne for such as him. But 
Sherman! — and his march to the sea — from all 
such, " Good Lord deliver us," is a fixture in 
our Litany. 

With an armed force of one hundred and 
twelve thousand men; more than Hood, Beaure- 
gard, Hardee, Johnston and Lee combined, 
with no army to oppose ; only the frightened 
faces of old men, women and children, with a 
finale of a grand negro round-up — this, O, shades 
of Ca?sar! is the theme of paeans of u Sherman's 
March to the Sea!" 

After the War. 189 

Chaptee XVII. 

Six months have elapsed since the events last re- 
lated occurred. War-clouds have rolled by, and 
the sun of peace is shining down upon a coun- 
try whose people are once more engaged in 
the pursuits of industry and commerce. 

Now and then a crutch or an empty sleeve, 
brings back the remembrance of the din and 
carnage of battle, bat the bummers of the camps 
are loath to quit their occupation, and have now 
become the bummers of politics. 

Under the name of reconstruction, the South 
is undergoing a moral trial from which she 
emerged with shorn locks but with spirits re- 
newed, with rejuvenated vigor, with a healthy, 
chastened energy. 

And now, as the leaves are beginning to be 
tinged by the chilling touch of frost, when the 
fall roses are unfolding their fresh, sweet buds 
to greet the sunbeams and cheer the heart and 
eye of man; when the robins come trooping 
with their happy chirps overhead, filling the 
tree-tops with their welcome voices; just in this 
time and season we find the same two persons 
in the same garden, at the same spot, as when 

190 From Dust to Ashes. 

long months ago we found them, after their 
eventful boat ride. 

Then, it was on the eve of a departure upon 
an errand of grim-visaged war; but now it is 
upon the eve of quite a different journey. 

A journey of life — for now, after so many 
years of faithful waiting, Marguerite and Ran- 
dolph are to be united in the holy bonds of 

And here, among so many kindred and friends, 
there were but few houses where the one impor- 
tant subject was not discussed in every phase 
conceivable and inconceivable, from cellar to 
garret, and from kitchen to stable. 

Old Captain Darlington and his good Virginia 
wife were proud of their children and of him to be 
numbered among them, and were determined 
that the temporary dwelling of balloon construc- 
tion, (his beautiful home having been burned by 
Hunter's forces in his raid) should be no draw- 
back upon the celebration of these nuptials, 
which should partake of all the forms and fest- 
ivities of an old-fashioned Virginia wedding. 

The days have gone by, and old Time has 
sprinkled our heads with frosty marks of his 
seasons passed, but never will he be able, with 
all his chilly breath, to cool or dim the remem- 
brance of that happy event. 

The sun had set in a clear, blue sky, and the 

Wedding Guests. 191 

quivering leaves of fall barely felt the passing 
breeze; the stars looked down, twinkling, from 
their dark, blue canopy, and all was peace — 
peace, sweet peace. 

All hearts thronging there were happy, and 
nature inanimate seemed in glorious unison with 
nature animate. The very barking of the dogs, 
scurrying through the lane, seemed happy and 

Up among the grove of trees, there streamed 
a flood of light through every window. Many 
of the old servants, surfeited with a few months 
of philanthropic Yankee servitude, were back 
at home, and by the antics of the picaninnies, 
and the "hi-hi's" and "yah! yah's!" of their 
elders, accompanied by the arrival of buggies, 
carriages, and every other vehicle owned or ob- 
tainable, created a pandemonium of joyous con- 

Kindred met kindred, after years of absence 
in camp or prison. Old friends came from the 
valleys of the James, the Shenandoah and the 

Beautiful women, whose dear hands had so 
lately smoothed the brows of dying soldiers, 01 
cheered their lovers in their devotion to their 
country, were there. 

Grive me for courage, hospitality and the true 
temper of the patriotic Roman matron, the 

192 From Bust to Ashes. 

woman of blessed Old Virginia ! Glorious old 
Mother, the synonym of heroine ! 

The clock had just chimed the hour of ten, 
when the minister of God, robed in the surplice 
of his holy office, made his appearance in their 
midst, prepared to perform the functions of his 

A grim smile wreathed the face of many an 
old soldier. He pictured in his mind the slight 
contrast of another occasion, wherein our same 
surpliced minister, officiating in another capac- 
ity, upon the historic field of Manassas, turned 
loose his artillery with the benediction, "and 
may the Lord have mercy upon their souls! " 

There was a stillness of expectant surprise, 
when the curtains were drawn aside, nor were 
their expectations disappointed, for as Margue- 
rite stood leaning upon the arm of the gallant 
Randolph, never was beauty more radiantly 

Decked with the simplicity of a village maiden, 
no queen, with all the robes of state and jewels 
of a nation's vaults, could excel the wealth of 
beauty, of form and of feature, and of the luxu- 
rious gifts of nature's own hands; as the loving 
pair stood and pledged their troth, and received 
the benediction of the brave old minister of 

It is years since that event, and now far 

They Are One. 193 

away west of the Mississippi river, Randolph 
watches the playful antics of a smaller Sadie, 
and a Lawrence, too, and often reminds Mar- 
guerite that when he shook the dust of the 
Institute from his feet he dreamed but little of 
finding his fair bride among the ashes of Colum- 
bia, and his nuptials over the ashes of her 
father's homestead.